India women player reports fixing approach

India won the three-ODI series against England 2-1 PTI

A member of the India women's team was allegedly approached to fix matches earlier this year. The alleged incident, which the player had reported to the BCCI's anti-corruption unit (ACU), took place in February, ahead of the limited-overs home series against England.

The ACU has registered a first-information report (FIR) with the Bengaluru police against two individuals, Rakesh Bafna and Jitendra Kothari, for the alleged approach. The case has been registered under four sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including Section 420, which pertains to cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property.

"Today, we have got an FIR registered against two people in Bengaluru," Ajit Singh Shekhawat, who heads the BCCI's ACU, told Sportstar on Monday. "The FIR pertains to an approach that was made to one of the women cricketers of the team. She reported the approach to us and even recorded the conversation she had with one of the accused over the telephone."

According to the same report, Kothari, claiming to be a sports manager, got in touch with the player last year. In February, when the player was undergoing recovery sessions at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, Kothari put her through to Bafna.

"Kothari was trying to sell himself as the manager of various women cricketers," Shekhawat said. "It was he who introduced Bafna to the player. He approached her to fix matches and play according to the script."

The incident, Shekhawat stressed, should serve as an eye-opener for women cricketers that they are as vulnerable to corrupt approaches as their male counterparts. "People involved in betting just need any cricket match, for them, it does not matter at what level it is being played," he said. "If a match is telecast, that helps them in betting and that's why they indulge in spot-fixing."