Players Involved

CBI Match Fixing Report

MANOJ PRABHAKAR 


About the alleged offer made to him by Kapil Dev during the Singer Cup, 1994 in Sri Lanka, Majoj Prabhakar stated that, during the Singer Cup, he and Navjyot Singh Sindu were room-mates in the hotel where the team was staying. The adjoining room in the hotel was connected to Manoj Prabhakar's room through a common door, and was occupied by Prashant Vaidya and Nayan Mongia.

One day, when he was in the bath room, N.S. Sindhu called him and told him that 'Paaji' had come with some offer and wanted to talk to him. Thereafter, Kapil Dev told him that India had to lose the next match against Pakistan and Manoj Prabhakar will be paid Rs. 25 lakh to underperform in that match. Manoj Prabhakar stated that he was flabbergasted at this offer and shouted at Kapil Dev. NS Sindhu was also present in the room at that time.

Thereafter, Prashant Vaidya and a Bengali journalist, who was sitting in Prashant Vaidya's room, came to Prabhakar's room on hearing the commotion and asked him what had happened. Manoj Prabhakar told Prashant Vaidya that Kapil Dev had offered him money to underperform. After this incident, he reported the matter to Ajit Wadekar, manager of the team and also to Mohd Azharuddin, the captain of the team.

He also informed Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar who were doing commentary during that series, after a few days. On being asked whether Kapil Dev made this offer to some of the other players in the team also, Prabhakar stated that he had no proof to corroborate this. On being asked why he did not disclose these facts before the Justice Chandrachud Commission, he stated that he wanted to disclose everything but Justice Chandrachud told him that he would not record anything which he would disclose and hence did not see any point in mentioning Kapil Dev's offer to him.

About his slow batting in the Kanpur one-day International against West Indies in 1994, Manoj stated that when Nayan Mongia came to bat, he told him that there were instructions from the dressing room that both of them should bat carefully and not lose their wickets. Nayan Mongia, till date, has not told him as to who was the person who had given him these instructions.
According to Manoj, one Hiren Hathi is very close to Kapil Dev and operates as his agent. Also, Kapil Dev was a gambler and played cards for very high stakes. Similarly, Ajay Sharma is very close to Mohd. Azharuddin and acts as his agent.

There was an incident in which the late Raman Lamba placed a bet of Rs. 50,000/- in Prabhakar's name without his knowledge in a particular match. The opposition was batting second and he was bowling the last ball of the match with one wicket to go and one run to win. Prabhakar got the last man out and won the game for India. Thereafter, he received a telephone call from an unknown person who claimed himself to be a bookie and threatened him and told him that he had lost around Rs. 85 lakhs.

Once, when Manoj was in the BCCI office in Bombay, on Prakash Kelkar introduced him to an unknown person. The latter requested Manoj Prabhakar to introduce him to some of the Indian players playing at that point of time in New Zealand. When asked about the purpose, that person revealed that he had lost a lot of money and had to make up for it by fixing certain matches through some Indian players.

According to Prabhakar, he did not believe this man, whereupon the latter told him that he would ring up Ajit Wadekar and Mohd Azharuddin and that Manoj Prabhakar could listen to the conversation on a parallel line. Thereafter, that person allegedly rang up Ajit Wadekar and Mohd Azharuddin. To his shock, Manoj Prabhakar heard that both of them had a positive attitude towards fixing matches. Manoj Prabhakar alleged that this particular person had informed the team management that Manoj Prabhakar knew all about their activities and, from then on, he was harassed continuously by cricket authorities.

On being asked about his mobile phone print-out which disclosed a number of calls to known bookies/punters including Sanjiv Chawla, Rajesh Kalra Sunil Dara, Rattan Mehta, etc, Manoj Prabhakar stated that he had contacted them for the purpose of investigating match fixing allegations. He further stated that he knew Sanjeev Chawla since he visited the Gym at Hotel Park Royal and he was looking for an overseas partner for his cosmetics business and the telephone calls in his cell phone were in that connection.

Rajesh Kalra is his friend and prints brochures for his cosmetic's business. He further stated that he also knew Sunil Dara who used to frequent the gym at Hotel Park Royal and, once or twice, he had asked Prabhakar about the outcome of cricket matches and he had given his opinion to Sunil Dara. He admitted that he knew Anand Saxena very well and had attended a few parties with him. Anand Saxena, on some occasions, had asked him to introduce cricket players to him but he had refused.

Manoj Prabhakar admitted that Ajay Sharma introduced him to M.K. Gupta sometime in 1990 and he knew him as John and not as Mukesh Gupta. He stated that he had met Mukesh Gupta 5-6 times only but used to speak to him on the telephone. He father stated that he had seen Mukesh Gupta abroad also. He confessed that he had received money and that he used to receive only around Rs.25,000/- to Rs. 30,000/- for each piece of information. He was paid only when his information was of use to MK. On being asked whether MK had given him money to buy a Maruti Gypsy with wide tyres after the England tour in 1990, he stated that he had purchased a gypsy with wide tyres after the England tour but he himself had paid for it. Manoj denied introducing Dean Jones to MK.

He further stated that after a festival match in Sri Lanka in early 1990's, he was in the same fight as MK. But they had booked their tickets separately and this was purely accidental. He denied that MK had ever visited his house in Ghaziabad. Manoj admitted having made a phone call to Gus Logie at MK's request, but Logie had refused to do anything for MK. He accepted that he introduced Mark Waugh to MK in Hong Kong during a six-a-side tournament. He also admitted introducing Brian Lara, Salim Malik and Alec Stewart to MK. He denied that he introduced Arvinda D' Silva and Ranatunga to MK. He stated that for these introductions, he had received money only once or twice. MK used to pay him only when his introduction to foreign players resulted in a profitable relationship. He stated that MK used to pay him money through one of his servants.

Prabhakar confessed that in the Ranji Trophy Quarter Final match of 1991 between Delhi and Bombay, he had given information to MK that Delhi would lose this match since some of the Delhi players were scheduled to play league cricket in England which was clashing with further Ranji Trophy engagements. However, he had denied receiving money from MK for this information. He was very friendly with Tipu Kohli (a punter) and he used to call him up to get his opinion and information about cricket matches. Prabhakar also said that he knew one Mashaal, a bookie of Bombay.

 

  ANALYSIS OF EVIDENCE
 
(Detailed discussion of evidence (oral and documentary) against player) 

The CBI inquiry has disclosed that Manoj Prabhakar, during his playing career and after retirement, had linkages with a number of bookies/ punters. There is also evidence of his having under-performed and passed on information and introduced other players to the betting syndicate. There is also evidence of Prabhakar receiving money from them for rendering such services. Prabhakar has also placed bets on cricket matches.

According to Mukesh Kumar Gupta, he was introduced to Manoj Prabhakar in 1990 by Ajay Sharma, a fact endorsed by both Ajay Sharma and Manoj Prabhakar. Mukesh Kumar Gupta had further stated that he paid a sum of Rs 40,000 to Prabhakar before India's tour to England in 1990. He promised to pay him money equivalent to the cost of a Maruti Gypsy, with wide tyres, after the England tour, if Prabhakar provided information about weather, pitch, team composition etc. during the tour. Mukesh Kumar Gupta has also stated that Prabhakar under-performed at his behest in one of the Tests in England, which ended in a draw.

Mukesh Kumar Gupta has further stated that he kept his promise and financed Prabhakar's Gypsy, with wide tyres, after the England tour. Prabhakar has admitted to purchasing a Gypsy after the England tour, but denied that it was financed by Mukesh Kumar Gupta. However, MK's statement in this respect appears to be more credible in view of the specific reference to Gypsy with 'wide tyres' and also the fact that Prabhakar purchased this Gypsy after the England tour.

Mukesh Kumar Gupta further stated that Prabhakar had 'sold' him the information about the Ranji Trophy quarter final match in 1991 between Delhi-Bombay. Prabhakar in his statement has accepted that he had provided the information that Delhi would lose the match but denied having received any money from Mukesh Kumar Gupta. It is, however, difficult to believe that Prabhakar provided this 'information' without expecting any returns. Mukesh Kumar Gupta has further stated that during the one-day series in Australia just prior to the World Cup, 1992, Prabhakar had provided specific 'information' about two one-dayers against Australia in which Mukesh Kumar Gupta made good money on the basis of Prabhakar's 'information'.

Mukesh Kumar Gupta has further talked about the England tour of India in 1993. He claims that in two one-day matches in that series at Gwalior, Prabhakar had provided 'information' which turned out incorrect. However, in the one-dayer at Bangalore, his 'information' proved correct. As regards the word 'information' used by MK, it is difficult to believe that in an age when television has brought cricket to our drawing rooms and expert commentators thoroughly analyse various aspects of match like pitch, team strengths, probable result, etc., such information provided by a player is of any use to a bookie. So, in this respect, it has to be construed that the word 'information' is a euphemism for under-performing or 'fixing'. Mukesh Kumar Gupta has referred to a number of instances when Prabhakar had introduced him to foreign players on payment of money.

Prabhakar has stated that he used to receive money only when such introduction proved profitable to Mukesh Kumar Gupta. Mukesh Kumar Gupta has stated that the following players were introduced to him by Prabhakar.

1) Arvinda D'silva : Mukesh Kumar Gupta has stated that Prabhakar had introduced Arvinda D'silva to him but Prabhakar in his statement has denied it.

2) Salim Malik : Prabhakar introduced Malik during a match between Wills Cup winners of Pakistan and Wills Cup winners of India. This match took place in 1991 at Delhi. Prabhakar has accepted that he introduced Salim Malik to Mukesh Kumar Gupta.

3) Dean Jones : Dean Jones was introduced by Prabhakar during a festival match at Sri Lanka and Prabhakar was paid a sum of Rs 2 lakh. Mukesh Kumar Gupta has further stated that he and Prabhakar had come back to India in the same flight from Colombo after that tournament. Prabhakar has denied that he introduced Dean Jones, but accepted that he and Mukesh Kumar Gupta had come back to India by the same flight on one occasion from Sri Lanka.

4) Brian Lara: Prabhakar introduced him to MK and Prabhakar has accepted it.

5) Arjuna Ranatunga: Mukesh Kumar Gupta has stated that he was introduced by Prabhakar. The latter has denied it.

6) Alec Stewart: Prabhakar introduced him. Accepted by Prabhakar.

7) Mark Waugh: MK was introduced to Mark Waugh by Prabhakar during a six-a-side tournament in Hong Kong. Prabhakar has accepted this in his statement.

8) Gus Logie : Prabhakar had rung up Gus Logie from his (Prabhakar's) residence at Ghaziabad for an introduction to Mukesh Kumar Gupta but Logie refused to talk to him. Prabhakar has accepted this in his statement.

Apart from Mukesh Kumar Gupta, Prabhakar was also involved with punter Tipu Kohli. Tipu Kohli has stated that he used to get 'information' from Prabhakar about cricket matches, especially during the England tour of India in 1993 and also paid him a sum of Rs 1 lakh on one occasion. Prabhakar has admitted that he was very friendly with Tipu Kohli and used to provide him 'information'.

Prabhakar was also very close to another bookie Anand Saxena. Prabhakar, in his statement, has said that Anand Saxena often requested him to introduce cricket players, which he claims he had refused. Even recent cell-phone printouts of Manoj Prabhakar show a number of calls to bookies/punters like Sanjeev Chawla, Rajesh Kalra, Sunil Dara and Rattan Mehta. Prabhakar, in his statement, has said that he is in touch with these persons for the purpose of 'investigation' into match-fixing. However, significantly, none of them have figured in the "tehelka tapes".

Moreover, Rajesh Kalra has stated that Prabhakar has placed bets on cricket matches through him and Prabhakar himself has stated that he had given his 'opinion' about certain matches on occasions to Sunil Dara. Prabhakar has also accepted that he is close to a Bombay bookie named Mashaal. The evidence against Prabhakar discloses that, during his playing career and even after retirement, he has been very close to a number of bookies/punters. He had received money in exchange for 'information' about cricket matches from MK and Tipu Kohli.

According to MK, Prabhakar had also under-performed in some matches at his behest. Further, Prabhakar had received money from MK to introduce foreign players to him. Prabhakar has denied having introduced Arvinda D'silva, Arjuna Ranatunga and Dean Jones to MK. There are no reasons to disbelieve MK in this regard, as Prabhakar has accepted introducing/ contacting five other foreign players for MK. The evidence against Prabhakar discloses his nexus with a wide array of bookies/punters, which has contributed significantly to corrupting cricket in India and abroad.

 

 

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