IPL: Ex-Rajasthan co-owner Kundra moves SC to revoke life ban

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Kolkata, March 30 (IANS) Acting on a Right To Information (RTI) reply from the Delhi police giving him a clean chit, Rajasthan Royals former co-owner Raj Kundra on Friday revealed that he has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to revoke his life ban handed to him after he was found guilty in the 2013 IPL betting scandal.

“We have taken a Right To Information (RTI) from Delhi police and we have moved Supreme Court. The answer we got against the RTI is that they have no evidence against me and I have nothing to do with betting,” Kundra told reporters on the sidelines of a Young Leaders Forum, an Indian Chambers of Commerce programme.

“I have asked for a review from the Supreme Court. There is no evidence against me with the Delhi Police as per the RTI,” Kundra added.

In 2015, a panel appointed by the Supreme Court suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals after finding them guilty in an illegal betting and match-fixing probe. Both franchises are back this season after serving the ban.

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Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan of Super Kings were also suspended from all cricket-related activities for life.

“It was horrible. When you get blamed for something you haven’t done, it brings collateral damage. I was the easiest prey as I was the poorest of the eight team owners. They had evidence against everyone else, they didn’t have evidence against me,” Kundra said on his ban.

“I hope so (the ban is overturned). We have submitted it and I don’t know the date of a hearing. It’s in the courts. We all have trust in the judicial system. Fingers crossed.”

“In our review (petition) we have asked please see what the Delhi Police has said and the basis on which I’ve been banned for life. Please study the new evidence, study them and tell us if I committed any crime. Then I will accept it. If Delhi Police is clearly saying I’ve done ‘nothing wrong, why penalise me’, why I’m being victimised,” he added.

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Kundra batted for betting to be made legal in the country as every individual is involved in it.

“In this country, it’s about time that they legalise betting because the amount of money that is being spent under the table.

“I guarantee you 80 percent of this country will stop watching cricket if they did not have a punt on a match. Every single person bets I am sorry to say.

“It would be foolish to say that betting does not happen. There is a list of Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000 crore industry that happens on every match and it’s about time we legalise it and start taxing it, making money where we should,” Kundra said.

He also felt that the cash-rich T20 league is a “great property”.

“IPL is a great property, something that the whole world looks at and India should be proud of. If it’s a good thing then why defame it every time and pull it down, it does not suit us. I wish everyone all the best. I just hope the best team wins. We have submitted (petition). It’s up to them.”

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Commentating on the ball-tampering scandal by Australian cricketers in South Africa, Kundra said on a lighter note, “If I can get a life ban for “so called” betting on a game, then I think tampering with the ball, one year is a short penalty.

“What (Steve) Smith did was wrong and it’s good that he admitted it. We all make mistakes in life and there is a price to pay. He is paying that price now. He has been penalised. It’s not in the spirit of the game. he was penalised,” he said about Smith who was appointed Rajasthan Royals skipper before being replaced by Ajinkya Rahane.

“He’s (Smith) a great player, phenomenal talent. As a player we all will miss him. Hope it does not affect the team.”

–IANS

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