Kings XI’s Srivastava claims innocence in spot-fixing charges

New Delhi, May 15: Kings XI Punjab pacer Shalabh Srivastava, who was shown demanding Rs.10 lakh to bowl a deliberate no-ball in a sting operation by a TV channel, has claimed innocence and said it was a conspiracy to malign him.

“I am innocent. The TV clips are doctored. I have told the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) about the incident and I am waiting for instruction from them,” Srivastava said.

“I fail to understand whatever is being said about spot-fixing. Also if they (a TV channel) are showing all the video clips, why aren’t they showing the clip where I allegedly am demanding Rs. 10 lakh? The voice in that telephonic conversation is not mine. It is very easy to frame anyone with a doctored audio clip,” the bowler was quoted as saying by NDTV.

The Allahabad boy now plans legal action against the TV channel.

“I will definitely file a case against them,” he said.

Srivastava said that the reporters, who conducted the sting, approached him posing at sports managers.

“I must have met them 7-8 times and that too because they claimed to be sports managers. They claimed that they can get us better offers from other franchises. And it’s not only me. They must have met around 50 players from the IPL and I must have spoken to approximately 15 players about them.

“All of them were doubtful about them as they always talked about fixing and prodded the players about how much were they being paid by their team owners. All of us were doubtful because contrary to what they claimed (that they were sports management guys), they also touched controversial topics,” he said.

Besides Srivastava, Deccan Chargers bowler T.P. Sudhindra, a Madhya Pradesh player, was also caught demanding payments for bowling deliberate no-balls.

BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said that they have asked India TV, the team that conducted the sting, for the tapes and the IPL Governing Council is meeting meeting in Mumbai Tuesday to review the situation.

IANS