KPL spot-fixing: Karnataka cricket shocked over Gautam, Kazi arrests

After CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi were arrested in connection with spot-fixing in the Karnataka Premier League, officials and former players expressed shock.

C. M. Gautam was on Thursday arrested by the Central Crime Branch for his involvement in the Karnataka Premier League fixing scandal.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

There was sense of deep anguish in the Karnataka cricketing circles over the arrest of senior cricketer CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi in connection with the match-fixing and betting scam in the Karnataka Premier League (KPL).

The people, Sportstar spoke to - players, both former and active, seasoned coaches and officials -understandably chose to remain anonymous, but distress and angst was palpable.

The Bellary Tuskers players expressed their shock at the developments. During the KPL final, they did not had any reason to suspect anything was amiss, they said.

A former Karnataka coach expressed a similar sentiment. “I’m really shocked; I’m feeling absolutely low,” he said.

“It is impossible to even imagine. I never thought such big names would be involved, if they are indeed guilty. It’s not as if they are some young, gullible players.”

“Players need to be mentored; they need moral values. The most important thing in life is self-respect and how you have lived. Money is not everything. It is important, but not at the cost of everything else,” he added.

'Huge Shock'

A former seasoned Karnataka cricketer, who had also captained a side in the KPL, termed the fiasco damaging for the State’s reputation.

“I always thought that big cricketers generally don't get involved in such things. Why do they need to? But this is very very surprising,” he said.

“If you see the reputation Karnataka cricket enjoys, this comes as a huge shock. Forget this controversy, we don’t even have simple friendly fights and arguments on the field! That's how good Karnataka cricket is. When I was playing, I didn't even think such [scams] could be possible here.”

A top Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) official said that the administrative and cricketing fraternity was left deeply disappointed with the arrests.

“I do not think any level of player should get involved in such kind of cases. It is very unfortunate and disappointing that such big players are involved. Now depending on where the investigations go, we may even consider life bans."