Mumbai News: Six Young Cricketers Defrauded Of ₹63 Lakh In Ranji Trophy Selection Scam

Mumbai News: Six Young Cricketers Defrauded Of ₹63 Lakh In Ranji Trophy Selection Scam

Over a period of time, Upadhyay convinced Chavan of connections with senior officials in the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and promised that his players would get a chance to play the Ranji Trophy.

Megha KuchikUpdated: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 01:29 AM IST
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Six young cricketers from Ratnagiri have been defrauded of nearly Rs63 lakh on the pretext of a chance to be guest players graduating to local players in the Ranji Trophy. The Malad police have registered a case against two persons, Prashant Kamble and Devesh Upadhyay, for alleged embezzlement and fraud.

While Kamble is said to be the main accused in the conspiracy, Upadhyay pretended to be the assistant of film actor Sonu Sood to make the opportunity look attractive. 

The investigation has revealed that the six cricketers were given fake selection letters purportedly from the Bihar, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram Cricket Associations. Another complainant in the matter is Santosh Chavan, a resident of Kherdi in Chiplun, who runs an event management business and introduced the cricketers to the accused.

His company has organised political events, wedding events, and various sports events, including cricket matches for the past 15 years.

During one of these events, Chavan met Kamble, where both played cricket for the Ratnagiri team. Later, Kamble was selected for the Mumbai under-23 team, and they became good friends. During this time, Kamble introduced Chavan to Upadhyay, who claimed to be working as an assistant to actor Sonu Sood.

Over a period of time, Upadhyay convinced Chavan of connections with senior officials in the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) and promised that his players would get a chance to play the Ranji Trophy. Trusting him, Chavan recommended six young players. After observing their skills, Kamble invited them for net practice in Goregaon.

Following detailed discussions, Chavan provided their information and other documents to Kamble. Selection letters were given on the letterheads of the Manipur and Bihar Cricket Associations. The entire process started in October 2018 and continued until 2022, involving detailed discussions and exchange of money.

However, the players were not given any information about the actual competition. According to new BCCI rules, those who were supposed to play as guest players now had to play as local players. Therefore, these six youths were sent to Nagaland, Manipur, Bihar and Mizoram, but were recalled after seven days. 

When Chavan and the six players tried to contact Kamble and Upadhyay, both avoided them with various excuses. Consequently, they decided not to play the Ranji Trophy and sought a refund of Rs63 lakh that had been paid. Despite Chavan’s efforts, the money was not returned. The remittance slips and selection letters from various state cricket associations were found to be fake.

Realising they had been defrauded, Chavan complained to the Malad police last week. After investigating, the police registered a case against under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

A probe is underway and the police will soon question the accused. The police are also investigating whether the duo has committed similar crimes elsewhere.

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