IPL's Gurunath Meiyappan 'guilty' in cricket betting probe

Gurunath Meiyappan Gurunath Meiyappan spent time in prison last year over spot-fixing allegations

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A panel investigating spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League has found a top cricket team official guilty of illegal betting, media reports say.

The panel's report said Gurunath Meiyappan of Chennai Super Kings passed on information to illegal bookmakers.

Spot-fixing involves players bowling wides and no-balls at certain times arranged beforehand with bookmakers.

Mr Meiyappan has not yet commented on the report's findings, but he denied the allegations last year.

The three-member panel, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, was formed by the Supreme Court to investigate spot-fixing and illegal betting in the Indian Premier League last year. It submitted its 170-page report to the court on Monday.

"Roots of corruption and malpractices have crept in deep into the game of cricket, more particularly the IPL, and are seeping into the game at an alarming rate," said the report, which was seen by the AFP news agency.

It said the allegations against Mr Meiyappan - son-in-law of N Srinivasan, head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) - needed further investigation.

Mr Srinivasan, who is also the owner of the Chennai Super Kings team, "stepped aside" from his post as BCCI president in June last year after Mr Meiyappan was arrested over allegations of betting in the IPL.

Mr Meiyappan has since been released on bail, and Mr Srinivasan has returned as the head of the cricket board. Mr Srinivasan was elected head of cricket's world body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), on Saturday.

Last July Indian cricketer and Rajasthan Royals fast bowler S Sreesanth was charged along with 38 other people over the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

In September, India's cricket board handed a life ban to Sreesanth and his Royals teammate Ankeet Chavan.

The IPL is considered to be the world's showcase for Twenty20 cricket.

Top Indian and international players take part, contributing to what is the world's richest cricket tournament.

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