Indian bookmaker Sanjeev Chawla, who is based in London at present, is set to be extradited back to India after two decades. Chawla, a UK-based businessman, has been accused of facilitating high-profile match-fixing deals in the late 90s and year 2000. He is said to be the 'kingpin' of the match-fixing scandal in cricket that was uncovered in 2000.
India had requested the United Kingdom for Sanjeev Chawla's extradition but the alleged bookie had appealed against this on the grounds of human rights. The UK High Court is now reported to have rejected the plea and has ordered the UK Home Department to extradite Chawla to India. It is also being reported that Chawla may be flown into India by as soon as Tuesday, January 21. The DCP of Crime - Delhi Police is already in London with his team to take custody of Chawla when the Home Department completes its formalities. The orders for Chawla's extradition are expected to be in the Delhi Police's hands by Monday afternoon, a Delhi Police Crime Branch official told IANS.
Former Delhi Police Commissioner Ajay Sharma is expecting some big revelations to come through once Chawla is back in India. Sharma was the one who oversaw the investigation during the match-fixing scandal of 2000 and after he left the post, the case was not attended to by his successors. In 2013, the then Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar pushed forward the formalities so that Chawla could eventually be extradited.
Back in the year 2000, a telephone call between South African captain Hansie Cronje and a bookie was intercepted and it was later revealed that the Proteas captain had been accepting money in exchange of losing matches. Further reports arose of Proteas batsman Herschelle Gibbs and a handful of other players also being propositioned to underperform in exchange for money. Cronje revealed that he was introduced to a bookie called Mukesh Gupta by former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin in 1996.
Cronje was banned from the game for life and passed away two years later in a private plane accident. Azharuddin was banned for life as well by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) after a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry. Ironically, Azharuddin's successor for the Indian captaincy was Sachin Tendulkar, who was further succeeded by none other than the current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly.