BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
The Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) may have been a ‘front’ for top cricketers and Bollywood stars to get better-acquainted with bookies and the underworld, Delhi police sources have revealed. The CCL includes stars from Bollywood, Bhojpuri and South Indian cinema.
Four leading Bollywood stars who have participated in the tournament are already under the scanner of both the Delhi and Mumbai police. Speaking to BeyondHeadlines, a top Mumbai-based bookie said, “If the police do a truly unbiased investigation, at least three top actors who played in CCL, will face arrest.”
A Delhi police officer on condition of anonymity said, “As early as 2011, organizers of the CCL had been planning how to throw games in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL). Baburao Yadav, a Ranji player arrested by Delhi police recently, had very good relations with a Bollywood star who plays in the CCL. The star is also hosting a television show.
The 2013 CCL tournament was played in places like Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi and Siliguri. Interestingly, the only foreign locale where a CCL match has been played is Dubai. It must be noted that Sunil Alamchandani alias Sunil Dubai, a bookie that is already embroiled in the betting scandal and is an alleged acquaintance of Don Dawood Ibrahim, also hails from Dubai.
According to sources, the matches were used as a cover for arranging cricket bets. Though the matches themselves were played fairly, it was in the after-match parties which took place that dirty deals were done. Another Delhi police officer on condition of anonymity said, “We are conducting a thorough probe into the activities which took place at these private parties. They were used as a means to plan and get in touch with bookies without raising suspicions. Strategies for fixing matches were discussed at these parties.”
Corroborating what police told BeyondHeadlines, a top Mumbai-based bookie said, “As far as I know, though the ostensible purpose of these games was purely entertainment, the real reason behind the CCL was for fixing IPL games,” the Mumbai-based bookie added.
The CCL was established in 2011. The competition featured eight teams, with the addition of the Veer Marathi and Bhojpuri Dabbangs. Kalyan Jewellers were the title sponsors of the 2013 season.
The other side
When contacted, Suneil Shetty, captain of the Mumbai Heroes CCL team denied the allegations and said, “No police officer has contacted us regarding the CCL yet.”
When contacted, Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said, “I will cross-check all information regarding this.”