Bengaluru, September 24: Over the last few days, the Karnataka Premier League (KPL) is in the news for all the wrong reasons. As the betting cloud got thicker since the betting racket was exposed, on Tuesday, the owner of Belgavi Panthers Ali Asfak Thara was arrested by the Central Crime Branch police.
He is believed to be in connection with an international betting scam in the KPL. Having taken him into custody four days ago, an extensive interrogation from the CCB sleuths led to his arrest.
Apart from all the Belgavi Panthers players, even cricketers from other franchises – Bijapur Bulls and Bengaluru Blasters were summoned for intense questioning. According to sources, the CCB has also set their eyes on other teams that include players, management, coaches and officials of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
Who is Ali Asfak Thara?
Thara owns Ali Tours and Travels, a Bengaluru-based tour operator with offices in Bengaluru and Dubai. Even before purchasing Belagavi Panthers, Thara has been a part of a betting racket. It is believed that Thara approached KPL’s young cricketers and got them involved in spot-fixing. Back in 2017, a senior Karnataka Ranji Trophy player had informed officials about Thara’s activities.
The BCCI’s anti-corruption unit (ACU) knew all about the fixing and betting in the KPL. After getting their hands on concrete evidence, the CCB had Thara behind bars.