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Mumbai Indians-Super Kings to face off in IPL final under spot-fixing cloud

Chennai Super Kings logo
 
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) under the cloud of spot-fixing, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will face off in the title clash here Sunday in a match that would be a replay of their 2010 final.
 
In that encounter, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK had emerged champions for their first IPL crown. Next year they followed it up with another title win.
 
Overall, they have been the most consistent team in the IPL and tomorrow's clash will be their fifth appearance in the final in six seasons.
 
What separates the Chennai Super Kings, which is the second team to be struck by spot-fixing scandal, and their third IPL crown is the resurgent Mumbai Indians.
 
Mumbai Indians had beaten Chennai Super Kings twice in the league phase but were at the receiving end in the first qualifier when they were beaten comprehensively.
 
Mumbai Indians, however, dusted off the defeat and put on a stunning performance here Friday night when they defeated 2008 champions Rajasthan Royals in the second qualifier and made it to their second final.
 
For both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians it has been an impressive season and they spent most of the league phase playing musical chairs with each other for the top-spot.
 
In the all-important final, it will be a battle of equals but Chennai Indians have a lot at stake since one of the franchise’s bosses, Gurunath Meiyappan, who is also the son-in-law of BCCI president Narayanswami Srinivasan, was arrested Friday night by Mumbai police for his alleged role in spot-fixing that came to light last week with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals players.
 
While the off-field issues have taken the spotlight away from the IPL final, it will still be a cracker of a match as both Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are keen to win back the faith of the fans.
 
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Both the teams have a famed batting order, but a question mark remains on Mumbai Indians opener Sachin Tendulkar’s availability in the final. Tendulkar has been advised three weeks' rest for the injury he suffered on his left palm and that technically rules him out of the clash, but knowing Tendulkar it is too early to conclude.
 
On the tricky wicket at the Eden Gardens, toss will be a factor, but the way the pitch has behaved in the last few matches the track remains a batting paradise.
 
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who picked three for 23 against Rajasthan Royals, remains the trump card for Mumbai Indians. Harbhajan has found his form and at the Eden, where he picked the first hat-trick for India in Tests against Australia, can be the key factor.
 
Along with left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan forms a great spin partnership for Mumbai Indians while pacers Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard can also do the damage. Malinga will be trying to atone for his pathetic performance in the last game when he conceded 18 runs from the last over.
 
Super Kings also have a great bowling attack and West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is in great form.  His spell of 3-0-9-3 made the difference when Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians comprehensively by 48 runs in the first qualifier.
 
But the man of the moment for the Super Kings is Australian veteran Mike Hussey. The 37-year-old is almost certain to win the Orange Cap as the league's top-scorer after plundering 732 runs at an average of 56.3 this season. Another stunning show from Hussey would help Super Kings win their third IPL title and stamp their authority as the most successful team.
 
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Mumbai Indians enter final of IPL with four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals

Dwayne Smith of Mumbai Indians drives a delivery during the secod qualifier of the Indian Premier League against Rajasthan Royals  at the Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on May 24, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS.
Dwayne Smith of Mumbai Indians drives a delivery during the secod qualifier of the Indian Premier League against Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on May 24, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS.
 
Opener Dwayne Smith hammered a superb 62 to lead Mumbai Indians into the final of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals with just one ball to spare in the second qualifier at the Eden Gardens here tonight.
 
In an encounter that went to the wire, Rajasthan Royals, opting to bat first, posted 165 for 6 from their 20 overs, powered by a well-made 43 by skipper Rahul Dravid.
 
Chasing 166 for a win, Mumbai Indians barely managed to scrape through in the end, making 169 for six in 19.5 overs.
 
They will now meet Chennai Super Kings in the final at the same venue on May 26. Chennai had beaten Mumbai by 48 runs in the first qualifier on May 21 at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi.
 
Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians had clashed in the 2010 final when the former had emerged victorious and lifted their maiden IPL title.
 
Today, after a one-hour delay caused by evening rains, Rajasthan Royals, winners of the inaugural IPL in 2008, rode on a gritty 43 by Rahul Dravid and an unbeaten cameo of a 17-ball 31 by Dishant Yagnik to post a fighting 165 for six.
 
Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh wreaked havoc by wiping out the top-order with his three for 26 but it was Yagnik’s cameo that saved Rajasthan the blushes.
 
But Rajasthan Royals' dream run in the season, which was somewhat marred by spot-fixing claims after the arrest of three of their cricketers, came to an end as Smith struck a 44-ball 62, studded with six fours and two sixes, as Mumbai Indians, chasing a target of 166, made 169 for six with a ball to spare.
 
It was a poor show by the Rajasthan Royals bowling that has been left depleted with the arrest of two key spinners Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila, on a batting paradise. The only exception was West Indies pacer Kevon Cooper, who got the important wickets of opener Aditya Tare (35) and Dinesh Karthik (22) while conceding just 18 runs from his three overs.
 
On the Eden track, that favours slow bowlers, Rajasthan for the first time since the arrests, missed Chavan and Chandila as their pacers leaked runs.
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Mumbai Indians got to a great start with Smith and Tare adding 70 runs for the first wicket in 55 balls. They plundered runs at will and at a time when the partnership grew dangerous, Cooper struck to get rid of Tare, who mistimed a slower and hit straight to Sanju Samson at long-on.  Tare hit three fours and two sixes in his 27-ball knock.
 
Karthik also started off well and added 55 runs with Smith for the second wicket. Karthik was in his rhythm, hitting three well-timed fours, but Cooper struck again as Karthik tried to cut and found Ajinkya Rahane at point.
 
After two good partnerships of 70 and 55 runs, Mumbai Indians suddenly lost way and lost wickets in a heap and were left struggling at 132 for four before Kieron Pollard (11) and Ambati Rayudu (17) put them on course for a win.
 
Earlier, Dravid top-scored with a 37-ball 43 before a middle-order collapse reduced them to 108 for six in the 16th over. It was then left to Yagnik, who hit five fours, and Brad Hodge (19 not out) , who rescued the innings adding 57 runs in 27 balls to take Rajasthan Royals to a competitive 165 for six in 20 overs.
 
Rajasthan also had a steady start as the opening duo of Ajinkya Rahane (21) and Dravid hit some crisp boundaries. The Royals skipper was aggressive as he enthralled the crowd with some of his trademark drives.
 
Dravid exchanged some words with Mumbai pacer Mitchell Johnson after the Australian was hit for two consecutive fours. The opening stand of 44 was broken in the seventh over when Harbhajan castled Rahane (21; 18b 3x4) round his legs.
 
Shane Watson (6) was the next to go attempting a clumsy sweep managing a top-edge off Harbhajan to Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma.
 
Lasith Malinga then removed the talented Sanju Samson for a duck and Harbhajan finally dismissed his former India team mate Dravid caught by Rohit at mid-wicket that let Rajasthan at 87 for four.
 
Kieron Pollard took two in one over, Stuart Binny 27 off 17, and Kevon Cooper (4) to leave Rajasthan Royals at 108 for six. But Hodge and Yagnik joined forces with their 57-run stand for the unfinished seventh wicket that gave Rajasthan what looked like a good total. They were also helped by Malinga, who bowled a horrible last over giving away 18 runs.
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Scoreboard:
Rajasthan Royals
Rahul Dravid c Sharma b Harbhajan 43
Ajinkya Rahane b Harbhajan 21
Shane Watson c Sharma b Harbhajan 6
Sanju Samson c Harbhajan b Malinga 0
Stuart Binny c Harbhajan b Pollard 27
Brad Hodge not out 19
Kevon Cooper c Smith b Pollard 4
Dishant Yagnik not out 31
Extras (lb 4, w 8, nb 2) 14
Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 165
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Rahane, 6.3 overs), 2-60 (Watson, 8.4), 3-64 (Samson, 9.4), 4-87 (Dravid, 12.1), 5-104 (Binny, 15.1), 6-108 (Cooper, 15.3)
Bowling:
Mitchell Johnson 3-0-23-0
Rishi Dhawan 4-0-30-0
Pragyan Ojha 4-0-36-0
Harbhajan Singh 4-0-23-3
Lasith Malinga 4-0-43-1
Kieron Pollard 1-0-6-2
 
Mumbai Indians 
Dwayne Smith c Samson b Binny 62
Aditya Tare c Samson b Cooper 35
Dinesh Karthik c Rahane b Cooper 22
Rohit Sharma b Trivedi 2
Kieron Pollard c Cooper b Faulkner 11
Ambati Rayudu  b Watson 17
Harbhajan Singh not out 6
Rishi Dhawan not out 4
Extras (lb 6, w 4) 10
Total (for six wickets in 19.5 overs) 169
Fall of wickets: 1-70 (Tare, 9.1 overs), 2-125 (Karthik, 14.1), 3-128 (Sharma, 15.5), 4-132 (Smith, 16.3), 5-141 (Pollard, 17.3), 6-160 (Rayudu, 19.2)
Bowling
Vikramjeet Singh Malik 4-0-26-0
James Faulkner 4-0-36-1
Shane Watson 2.5-0-34-1
Siddharth Trivedi 4-0-23-1
Kevon Cooper 4-0-33-2
Stuart Binny 1-0-11-1
 
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Mumbai Police arrest Gurunath in IPL betting case


 
Meiyappan lands in Mumbai, police to question him
In a major development that could have wide ramifications, the Mumbai Police tonight arrested Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan, for his role in the alleged betting scam on matches in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
Mumbai's Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told newspersons outside the headquarters of the Crime Branch that they had interrogated Gurunath after he presented himself before them this evening.
 
"After he arrived here at the Crime Branch headquarters here this evening, we have gone through questioning with him in detail.
 
"After due deliberation, we have come to the conclusion that there is evidence of his involvement in the offence we are investigating.
 
"Therefore, he has been placed under arrest and he will be produced in court within 24 hours as per law," Mr Roy added.
 
Sources said that Gurunath had been charged with cheating, conspiracy and related offences.
 
Gurunath's father-in-law, Mr Srinivasan, is also the the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, which owns Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the franchises in the IPL.
 
Gurunath, who was in Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu with his father-in-law, flew into Mumbai in a chartered flight this evening after the Mumbai Police rejected his request for time until Monday to appear before them.
 
He was escorted out of the airport by the Mumbai Police and taken to the Crawford Market Police station for questioning in the case.
 
Earlier in the day, even as the police in Mumbai and Delhi continued their investigation into alleged spot-fixing and betting in the IPL, India Cements distanced itself from Gurunath.
 
According to sources, the name of Gurunath, who was described in media reports as the CSK team principal, had cropped up during the interrogation of Bollywood actor Virender (Vindoo) Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police on May 21 for alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches. 
 
The sources said the records of Vindoo's telephone calls indicated that he was in regular touch with Gurunath and bookies. Also, Vindoo was seen regularly in the CSK's boxes at the venues of the team's matches.
 
In a statement today, India Cements made it clear that Gurunath was not the owner or CEO or team principal of Chennai Super Kings.
 
"India Cements clarifies that Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan is neither the Owner, nor CEO / Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings.  Mr. Gurunath is only one of the Members (Honorary) of the Management Team of Chennai Super Kings.
 
"India Cements follows zero tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately.  India Cements assures full co-operation with BCCI and the Law Enforcement authorities," the statement added.
 
Gurunath had been asked to appear between 11 am and 5 pm today before the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police. He had sent a request to the Mumbai Police yesterday evening, seeking time until Monday to appear before it, but it was turned down, following which he flew down to the city this evening, though he had missed the 5 pm deadline.
 
A four-member Mumbai police team had turned up at Gurunath's Chennai home yesterday, but did not find him there. They left after serving a notice of the summons at his residence on Cenotaph Road in Alwarpeth, Chennai, while a copy was also served at the Chennai Super Kings office in Coromandel Towers.
 
CSK has already qualified for the IPL final slated to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday. Their opponent will be Mumbai Indians, which beat Rajasthan Royals by four wickets in the second qualifier at Eden Gardens earlier tonight.
 
While India Cements has made its position on Gurunath clear, CSK will have a tough time explaining how he had free access to the team dug-out and such other areas normally accessible only to team owners.
 
Gurunath was also seen at the franchise's table at IPL player auctions.
 
The alleged spot-fixing scam broke into the open on May 16 when the Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan  -- from Mumbai for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing during matches in the ongoing IPL.
 
The Mumbai Police arrested Vindoo Randhawa on May 21 for his alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches.
 
The Delhi Police and the Mumbai Police have also arrested several bookies from different parts of India, including some who have played first-class cricket and one who was a part of Rajasthan Royals for four seasons.
 
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Rajasthan Royals post 165/6 against Mumbai Indians in second IPL qualifier

Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid hits over the top for a boundary during the 2nd Qualifer in the  Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 24, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid hits over the top for a boundary during the 2nd Qualifer in the Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 24, 2013. Photo by Shaun Roy-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Skipper Rahul Dravid topscored with 43 as Rajasthan Royals posted 165 for six in their 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will decide the second finalist of the tournament, at the Eden Gardens here tonight.
 
Opting to bat first, Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane (21) provided their side with a good start, putting on 44 for the first wicket.
 
Dishant Yagnik remained unbeaten on 31 and Brad Hodge on 19 as the Rajasthan Royals added 61 in the last five overs, losing two wickets in the process.
 
They were struggling at 108/6 in 15.3 overs at one stage, but Hodge and Yagnik, along with Stuart Binny, who made 27, took them to a respectable score. 
 
The start of the match was delayed by about an hour by rains this evening.
 
After Rahane fell in the seventh over, Rajasthan lost Shane Watson (6) and Sanju Samson (0) for the addition of just 20 runs.
 
Dravid and Binny added 21 runs for the fourth wicket before the former fell with the total at 87 in the 13th over.  His 43 came off 37 balls and included seven fours. 
 
Binny's 27 came off 17 balls and included one six and three fours, while Hodge hit two fours in his 19. Yagnik faced 17 balls and struck five fours in his 31. Yagnik and Hodge added 57 runs in their unfinished partnership for the seventh wicket.
 
For Mumbai Indians, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh bagged three for 23, while Kieron Pollard took two for six off his one over and Lasith Malnga one for 43 from his four overs.
 
The winner of today's qualifier will meet Chennai Super Kings in the final on May 26 at the same venue.
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CSK qualified for the final by beating Mumbai Indians by 48 runs in the first qualifier at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21.
 
CSK had finished the league stage, in which each of the nine teams in the fray played 16 matches, at the top of the table, followed by Mumbai Indians in the second, Rajasthan Royals in third and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the fourth spot.
 
Rajasthan Royals, which has been hit hard by an alleged spot-fixing scandal after three of its players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- were arrested by the Delhi Police on May 16, have managed to pull themselves together and beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in the eliminator on May 22 in Delhi to qualify for a meeting against Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier.
 
Rajasthan Royals, which went into the match against Sunrisers with an all-pace attack because of the absence of spinners Chandila and Chavan, did not make any changes in their eleven.
 
Mumbai Indians continued to be without opener Sachin Tendulkar, who has not fully recovered from a palm injury. Rishi Dhawan was brought in for Munaf Patel.
 
Scoreboard:
Rajasthan Royals
Rahul Dravid c Sharma b Harbhajan 43
Ajinkya Rahane b Harbhajan 21
Shane Watson c Sharma b Harbhajan 6
Sanju Samson c Harbhajan b Malinga 0
Stuart Binny c Harbhajan b Pollard 27
Brad Hodge not out 19
Kevon Cooper c Smith b Pollard 4
Dishant Yagnik not out 31
Extras (lb 4, w 8, nb 2) 14
Total (for six wickets in 20 overs) 165
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Rahane, 6.3 overs), 2-60 (Watson, 8.4), 3-64 (Samson, 9.4), 4-87 (Dravid, 12.1), 5-104 (Binny, 15.1), 6-108 (Cooper, 15.3)
Bowling:
Mitchell Johnson 3-0-23-0
Rishi Dhawan 4-0-30-0
Pragyan Ojha 4-0-36-0
Harbhajan Singh 4-0-23-3
Lasith Malinga 4-0-43-1
Kieron Pollard 1-0-6-2
 
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Gurunath appears before Mumbai Police for questioning on IPL betting

Meiyappan lands in Mumbai, police to question him
Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan, appeared before the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police this evening for questioning in connection with its probe into betting on matches in ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
Mr Srinivasan is also the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, which owns Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the franchises in the IPL.
 
Gurunath, who was in Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu with his father-in-law, flew into Mumbai in a chartered flight this evening after the Mumbai Police rejected his request for time until Monday to appear before them.
 
He was escorted out of the airport by the Mumbai Police and taken to the Crawford Market Police station for questioning in the case.
 
Earlier in the day, even as the police in Mumbai and Delhi continued their investigation into alleged spot-fixing and betting in the IPL, India Cements distanced itself from Gurunath.
 
According to sources, the name of Gurunath, who was described in media reports as the CSK team principal, had cropped up during the interrogation of Bollywood actor Virender (Vindoo) Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police on May 21 for alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches. 
 
The sources said the records of Vindoo's telephone calls indicated that he was in regular touch with Gurunath and bookies. Also, Vindoo was seen regularly in the CSK's boxes at the venues of the team's matches.
 
In a statement today, India Cements made it clear that Gurunath was not the owner or CEO or team principal of Chennai Super Kings.
 
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"India Cements clarifies that Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan is neither the Owner, nor CEO / Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings.  Mr. Gurunath is only one of the Members (Honorary) of the Management Team of Chennai Super Kings.
 
"India Cements follows zero tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately.  India Cements assures full co-operation with BCCI and the Law Enforcement authorities," the statement added.
 
Gurunath had been asked to appear between 11 am and 5 pm today before the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police. He had sent a request to the Mumbai Police yesterday evening, seeking time until Monday to appear before it, but it was turned down, following which he flew down to the city this evening, though he had missed the 5 pm deadline.
 
A four-member Mumbai police team had turned up at Gurunath's Chennai home yesterday, but did not find him there.
 
They left after serving a notice of the summons at his residence on Cenotaph Road in Alwarpeth, Chennai, while a copy was also served at the Chennai Super Kings office in Coromandel Towers.
 
CSK has already qualified for the IPL final slated to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
 
While India Cements has made its position on Gurunath clear, CSK will have a tough time explaining how he had free access to the team dug-out and such other areas normally accessible only to team owners.
 
Gurunath was also seen at the franchise's table at IPL player auctions.
 
The alleged spot-fixing scam broke into the open on May 16 when the Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan  -- from Mumbai for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing during matches in the ongoing IPL.
 
The Mumbai Police arrested Vindoo Randhawa on May 21 for his alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches.
 
The Delhi Police and the Mumbai Police have also arrested several bookies from different parts of India, including some who have played first-class cricket and one who was a part of Rajasthan Royals for four seasons.
 
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Rajasthan opt to bat first against Mumbai Indians in second IPL qualifier

Rajasthan Royals logo
Rajasthan Royals skipper Rahul Dravid won the toss and opted to bat first against Mumbai Indians in the rain-delayed second qualifier of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which will decide the second finalist of the tournament, at the Eden Gardens here tonight.
 
The start of the match was delayed by about an hour by rains this evening.
 
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have already qualified for the final by beating Mumbai Indians by 48 runs in the first qualifier at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21.
 
CSK had finished the league stage, in which each of the nine teams in the fray played 16 matches, at the top of the table, followed by Mumbai Indians in the second, Rajasthan Royals in third and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the fourth spot.
 
Rajasthan Royals, which has been hit hard by an alleged spot-fixing scandal after three of its players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- were arrested by the Delhi Police on May 16, have managed to pull themselves together and beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four wickets in the eliminator on May 22 in Delhi to qualify for a meeting against Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier.
 
Rajasthan Royals, which went into the match against Sunrisers with an all-pace attack because of the absence of spinners Chandila and Chavan, did not make any changes in their eleven.
 
Mumbai Indians continued to be without opener Sachin Tendulkar, who has not fully recovered from a palm injury. Rishi Dhawan was brought in for Munaf Patel.
 
The teams:
 
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson,  Dishant Yagnik (wk), Stuart Binny, Sanju Samson, Brad Hodge, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Vikramjeet Malik, Siddharth Trivedi
 
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Aditya Tare, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rohit Sharma (captain), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Rishi Dhawan, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha
 
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PM voices concern over decline in savings, urges SEBI to root out insider trading

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday on that it was a matter of concern that financial savings as a percentage of gross domestic product had declined recently and stressed that it was important to reverse this trend.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, in Mumbai on May 24, 2013.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, in Mumbai on May 24, 2013.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said that it was a matter of concern that financial savings as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) had declined recently and stressed that it was important to reverse this trend.
 
"The imperative of growth requires an increasing proportion of savings getting channelized into financial assets to facilitate their deployment in the most productive uses," he said at the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) here.
 
"A key indicator of SEBI`s future effectiveness will be its ability to root out the hard-to-define but extremely pernicious disease of insider trading," he said.
 
"In times of uncertainty, I recognise that doubts often arise regarding the likely real returns on financial assets. Individuals tend to prefer physical assets like gold or investment in real estate. This is to some extent due to the macroeconomic difficulties we have experienced over the past two years. It is important to reverse this trend and I am confident that under the leadership of my distinguished colleague (Finance Minister) P. Chidambaram we are and we will take all necessary steps in this regard," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the high growth rates that the Indian economy had witnessed in the last decade or so had been driven by enhanced savings and investment rates.
 
"Gross Domestic Savings (GDS) as a percentage of GDP increased from 23.7 per cent in the year 2000–01 to 36.8 per cent in 2007–08. It declined thereafter to 30.8 per cent in 2011-12 and we must and we will bring it back to the earlier levels. Higher savings and investment rates are the most productive when there is effective intermediation through a well functioning capital markets," he said.
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He spoke about the various steps taken by the Government to attract retail investors into the market such as the introduction of Rajiv Gandhi equity savings scheme, incentives for mutual funds to reach beyond the top 15 cities, separate plan for direct investment in existing as well as new schemes in mutual funds, expansion of asset classes that can be held in demat form and so on.
 
"I am confident that these measures will enthuse retail investors to access capital markets, increase financial intermediation, widen and deepen our financial system and positively influence the distribution of savings in favour of financial assets," he said.
 
The Prime Minister said that, for mobilising savings into productive uses, retail investors must have the incentive to invest in financial assets such as securities, insurance products, banking and pension products. 
 
"The Government and the financial sector regulators both have to take action to ensure this outcome. The moderation of inflation we are seeing will help this process. The inflation indexed bonds announced by the Finance Minister in the Budget for this year and the recent measures announced by SEBI to encourage small investors to participate in the securities market are other important efforts in this direction," he said.
 
He said that one of the problems was that the majority of Indian households do not participate in the financial markets. A recent study showed that the distribution of participation is also un-even across the country, with 55 per cent of all investors coming from the dynamic western region of the country. 
 
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"Hence, the mobilization of household savings into productive investment in the capital market must be a key goal for all actors in our financial sector, including SEBI," he said.
 
Dr Singh said SEBI could also make a vital contribution to the revival of the economy and towards laying the foundations for more rapid growth by facilitating infrastructure related investment. 
 
"India needs infrastructure funding of about 1 trillion US dollars in the period 2012 to 2017. Out of this, about 50 percent would have to be met by the private sector and our financial institutions. I would urge SEBI to take a lead in ensuring that infra debt funds (IDFs) are established and that they face a supportive regulatory environment," he said.
 
He noted that SEBI had been working to make it easier for foreign investors such as sovereign wealth funds, university funds and pension funds to invest in the  country. 
 
"This is an area which needs priority attention, particularly in view of the current macro-economic environment in our country. I would urge SEBI to quickly bring to fruition the initiatives that are already underway in this regard," he said.
 
Dr Singh said the equity market in the country remained disproportionately focused on large-cap firms, with many mid cap and small tier companies  crowded out by their larger counterparts while seeking public capital. 
 
"For our growth story to be truly sustainable in the years to come, small and medium enterprises would need to become a key segment of the Indian economy. They must be facilitated and helped to grow and expand with greater ease. I am very happy that SEBI has been making efforts towards enhancing access of mid-cap and small tier companies to capital markets. I hope to see more such efforts in the future," he said.
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He said a weakness in the financial system related to the market for corporate debt. 
 
"While the market for government debt is very large, the market for corporate debt has yet to develop as it should. It is not large enough and not liquid enough. To some extent the reduction in the fiscal deficit is a pre-condition for this development since sovereign debt often crowds out private debt. Efforts are being made to reduce the fiscal deficit and as we succeed we can expect the corporate debt markets to expand. But we need other initiatives also to help this process," he said.
 
"SEBI has issued regulations on issuance, listing and trading of debt securities to encourage mobilization of resources through the public issuance of debt. While creating a dedicated debt segment in stock exchanges will ensure greater institutional participation in trading, I would urge SEBI to ensure that good quality debt issuances are encouraged and a larger number of corporates access the debt market for financing," he said.
 
Dr Singh, who was Finance Minister when SEBI became a statutory body, dwelt at length on the achievements of the institution over the past 25 years.
 
"SEBI has successfully modernised our capital markets and brought international best practice to this very important sector of our economy. It is a matter of pride that the Indian stock exchanges today rank among the very best in the world in terms of technology as well as value-cum-volume of business," he said.
 
He also pointed to the need for SEBI to constantly upgrade and improve and build its human and technological capabilities.
 
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CSK distances itself from Gurunath as IPL betting probe continues

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As the police in Mumbai and Delhi continued their investigation into alleged spot-fixing and betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL), India Cements, the company that owns Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the IPL franchisees, today distanced itself from Gurunath Meiyappan, whose role in the alleged scam is being probed.
 
Gurunath, who is the son-in-law of Mr N Srinivasan, the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements and also the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has been summoned by the Mumbai Police for questioning in connecting with betting.
 
According to sources, the name of Gurunath, who was described in media reports as the CSK team principal, had cropped during the interrogation of Bollywood actor Virender (Vindoo) Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police on May 21 for alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches. 
 
The sources said the records of Vindoo's telephone calls indicated that he was in regular touch with Gurunath and bookies. Also, Vindoo was seen regularly in the CSK's boxes at the venues of the team's matches.
 
In a statement today, India Cements made it clear that Gurunath was not the owner or CEO or team principal of Chennai Super Kings.
 
"India Cements clarifies that Mr. Gurunath Meiyappan is neither the Owner, nor CEO / Team Principal of Chennai Super Kings.  Mr. Gurunath is only one of the Members (Honorary) of the Management Team of Chennai Super Kings.
 
"India Cements follows zero tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately.  India Cements assures full co-operation with BCCI and the Law Enforcement authorities," the statement added.
 
Gurunath, who had been described in media reports as the CSK team principal, had been asked to appear between 11 am and 5 pm today before the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police.
 
He had sent a request to the Mumbai Police yesterday evening, seeking time until Monday to appear before it, but it was turned down, following which he took a chartered flight from Madurai to the city and arrived here this evening, after the 5 pm deadline had expired.
 
A four-member Mumbai police team had turned up at Gurunath's Chennai home yesterday, but did not find him there. They left after serving a notice of the summons at his residence on Cenotaph Road in Alwarpeth, Chennai, while a copy was also served at the Chennai Super Kings office in Coromandel Towers.
 
CSK has already qualified for the IPL final slated to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
 
While India Cements has made its position on Gurunath clear, CSK will have a tough time explaining how he had free access to the team dug-out and such other areas normally accessible only to team owners.
 
Gurunath was also seen at the franchise's table at IPL player auctions.
 
The alleged spot-fixing scam broke into the open on May 16 when the Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan  -- from Mumbai for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing during matches in the ongoing IPL.
 
The Mumbai Police arrested Vindoo Randhawa on May 21 for his alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches. A court in Mumbai today remanded him in police custody for another four days, until May 28.
 
The Delhi Police and the Mumbai Police have also arrested several bookies from different parts of India, including some who have played first-class cricket and one who was a part of Rajasthan Royals for four seasons.
 
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Mumbai Police summons Gurunath Meiyappan in IPL spot-fixing probe

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The Mumbai Police crime branch today served summons to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) principal Gurunath Meiyappan to appear before them by tomorrow evening in connection with their investigations into the alleged spot-fixing and betting scam in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
A four-member Mumbai police team, led by investigating officer Nandkumar Gopale, turned up at Gurunath's Chennai home, but did not find him there.
 
They left after serving a notice of the summons at his residence on Cenotaph Road in Alwarpeth, Chennai, while a copy was served at the Chennai Super Kings office in Coromandel Towers.
 
The Mumbai Police asked Gurunath, who is the son-in-law of CSK owner and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), to appear before them between 11 am and 5 pm tomorrow.
 
The reports also said that Gurunath had contacted the Mumbai Police this evening, seeking time till Monday to appear before it. CSK has already qualified for the IPL final slated to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.
 
There was no immediate word from the Mumbai Police about whether it would accept the request or not.
 
According to sources, Gurunath's name had cropped during the interrogation of Bollywood actor Virender (Vindoo) Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police on May 21 for alleged links with bookies involved in betting on IPL matches. The sources said the records of Vindoo's telephone calls, which indicated that he was in regular touch with Gurunath and bookies.
 
Also, Vindoo was seen regularly in the CSK's boxes at the venues of the team's matches.
 
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate is also learnt to have launched a probe into the money laundering aspects of the alleged scam.
 
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Essar Projects secures $80 million contract in Abu Dhabi

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Essar Projects Limited (EPL), an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor, today said it had bagged three new orders worth a total of US $ 80 million in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), underpinning its presence in the Middle East market.
 
A press release from the company, which is a part of the Essar Group, said Takreer had awarded a contract to it for EPC works, commissioning and start-up for a Spent Caustic Treatment Plant of capacity 3.6 cubic metre per hour at Abu Dhabi refinery.
 
Merichem Process Technologies, Houston is the technology partner for the project, the release added.
 
It said Samsung Engineering, Korea had awarded a contract to EPL for civil works for the Carbon Black & Delayed Coker (CBDC) project for the Ruwais refinery.
 
G.S.Engineering, Korea has awarded construction of twin inter-refinery pipelines (IRP); one being a 28 inches x 94.6 km, Jet A1 pipeline and the other a 28 inches x 94.6 km gas oil pipeline.
 
Mr Alwyn Bowden, President & CEO, Essar Projects said, “The Middle East is a key market for Essar Projects. These wins are strategically important steps in reinforcing our global footprint, and build on our existing presence, executing projects in South East Asia, India, Africa, and the USA.”
 
Mr Amit Gupta, CEO Hydrocarbons said, “There is huge potential in the hydrocarbons space in the Middle East. Essar Projects is committed to growth in the region, and has already set up local offices in United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in order to actively win and execute mega projects in the region..
 
According to the release, mobilization activities for all of these contracts is underway. The EPC for the spent caustic plant is scheduled for completion in 27 months; the civils contract for CBDC is to be completed in 22 months, and the time frame for the IRP Twin pipeline is 8 months.
 
It said Takreer is a prominent oil refining company regionally and internationally, contributing strongly to the rapid growth of UAE economy. 
 
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BCCI says no communication from Sahara about pullout from IPL

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today said it had no direct communication from the Sahara Group on its decision, announced yesterday, to pull out of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in which it owns the Pune Warriors team, and to not renew its sponsorship of the Indian cricket team when the present contract ends in December this year.

"The BCCI has read in media reports that Sahara has purported to terminate its franchise agreement and to pull out of IPL, the 2014 season onwards.  The BCCI has had no direct communication from its franchisee, Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, in this regard," a statement from the Board said here.
 
"The BCCI can however confirm that, in order to satisfy the balance of the 2013 franchise fee of ` 133.87 crore (including taxes), which was overdue and owing to BCCI since 3 April 2013, it has encashed part of the bank guarantee put in place by Sahara Adventure Sports Limited," it said.
 
"The IPL Governing Council met with representatives of the franchisee on 21 February 2013 and received assurances that the franchisee would settle all obligations as they fell due.  Once the 3 April 2013 due date had passed, the Governing Council had two letters sent to Sahara Adventure Sports Limited – one on 12 April 2013 and the second on 24 April 2013 – requesting settlement of the overdue amount.  No payment was made and no response was received to the second letter and so, in order to protect its interests, the BCCI was forced to encash the guarantee," it said.
 
"While it is true that the arbitration has not progressed, the BCCI cannot be held responsible since every one of the eminent retired judges suggested by the BCCI was not found acceptable by the franchisee. In order to break this impasse, a letter was sent to Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, proposing that as the claimant to the arbitration, it should approach the court to appoint an arbitrator so that the process could move forward. Again, no response was received to this suggestion.
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"The BCCI has at all times acted in accordance with its franchise agreement with Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, and is not able to enter into a private negotiation on the quantum of the franchise fee which was offered by Sahara Adventure Sports Limited in its response to the Invitation to Tender floated by the BCCI in March 2010," the statement added.
 
The announcement by Sahara came at a time when the lucrative cricket tournament is already reeling under allegations of spot-fixing and three players of the Rajasthan Royals have been arrested in this connection.
 
The Sahara Group said in its statement that it had decided to pull out of IPL because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had, despite their repeated demands, not agreed to bring down the franchisee fee because the number of matches was less than what they were told it would be.
 
Sahara had bid Rs 1700 crore for the Pune franchise in 2010, making the Pune Warriors the costliest team in the nine-time league.
 
The group said it had based its bid on a revenue calculation on 94 matches, but had got only 64 matches. It said BCCI had played a trick by putting the number of matches as 94 to get higher bids.
 
It said it and Kochi Tuskers, which is no longer in the IPL, had immediately protested and urged the BCCI to reduce the bid price proportionately to make it viable for them. It said it had waited patiently all this while for a response but none came.
 
"Thus, we could not penetrate BCCI’s deaf ears and we announced our withdrawal in February 2012," it said, referring to its decision last year to pull out.
 
"The BCCI approached us for a solution and requested us to not withdraw. After a series of discussions with the topmost BCCI officials including the BCCI President at Mumbai, a Joint Statement was issued by Sahara and BCCI in February 2012. The Joint Statement, amongst many other things, specifically mentioned the agreement to start Arbitration proceedings through immediate appointment of an Arbitrator," it said.
 
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Sahara said it had suggested the names of various arbitrators, but BCCI turned them down and kept stalling the matter.
 
The group said it had kept paying the full franchisee fee of Rs 170.20 crore annually, without prejudice to its rights and contentions, in the hope that the matter would  be resolved soon. 
 
The statement said Sahara Group chairman Subrata Roy's efforts to meet the BCCI president to discuss the matter also did not yield any results. It said the BCCI cashed its bank guarantee on May 20, one day after Pune Warriors' last match in this year's edition of the tournament.
 
The group said it was upset about the shoddy treatment meted out to it, especially when it had never defaulted on its payments in the 13 years that it had sponsored the Indian team.
 
The statement said Sahara would not return to IPL even if the entire franchisee fee was waived off now. "It is firm and final decision of Sahara to withdraw from IPL," it said.
 
"We now request BCCI to not to approach us this time for any discussion as they have done in February 2012," he said.
 
The group said it would have withdrawn from the sponsorship of the Indian team from yesterday itself but did not want to affect the players' interests.
 
"So we have given time to BCCI to get the new sponsorship in place from January 2014, as we will continue the national team’s sponsorship only up to December 2013, that’s the expiry date of the present agreement," it said.
 
"Sahara assures its players and stakeholders that their fees and other rightfully due payments will be protected and under no circumstances will they suffer. Sahara also assures its sponsors and other supporters who have shown faith in us that their obligations have and will be fulfilled and there will be no compromise on their status or rights," the statement added.
 
Pune Warriors ended up in the eighth place in the nine-team league, winning only four of its 16 outings in the tournament.
 
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Chennai Super Kings storm into IPL final with 48-run win over Mumbai Indians

Suresh Raina of Chennai Super Kings in action during the qualifier 1 match of the Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21, 2013. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Suresh Raina of Chennai Super Kings in action during the qualifier 1 match of the Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21, 2013. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS

Chennai Super Kings overpowered Mumbai Indians by 48 runs with eight balls to spare in the first qualifier at the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium here tonight to storm in to the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Chasing 193 for a win, Mumbai Indians were cruising well at 87 for one in the 9th over, with opener Dwayne Smith leading the way with a quickfire 68 off 28 balls,with the help of five sixes and six fours.
 
But once Smith left with the total at 87, Chennai Super Kings wrested the initiative and Mumbai Indians kept losing wickets at regular intervals to fold up for 144 in 18.4 overs.
 
Earlier, powered by unbeaten knocks of 86 by opener Michael Hussey and 82 by left-hander Suresh Raina, CSK posted a challenging 192 for one in their 20 overs after opting to bat first.
 
It was a clinicial performance by Chennai, with the whirlwind kncoks by Hussey and Raina, and a stunning piece of pace bowling by Dwayne Bravo, who picked up three for nine.
 
Mumbai Indians had beaten Chennai Super Kings in both their encounter in the league stage of the tournament.
 
Mumbai Indians began their chase in shaky manner, with opener Aditya Tare (7) caught by Murali Vijay at mid-off off Albie Morkel in the second over with the total at just 12.
 
Smith then steadied the innings with a blistering attack, adding 75 for the second wicket with Karthik (11) before departing in the 9th over, off the second ball sent down by Ravindra Jadeja. He tried to lift the ball over the leg side but ended up getting a thick outside edge that went straight to Suresh Raina for a simple catch.
 
Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s ploy to operate with pacers in the first seven overs did not work much as 72 runs were scored in no time.
 
It was left-arm spinner Jadeja, who gave Super Kings the second crucial break through by getting rid of Smith, who spooned an easy straightforward catch to Raina. Smith’s dismissal triggered a batting collapse and Mumbai Indians lost next three wickets for the addition of just 14 runs.
 
Kieron Pollard came up with a cameo of 16-ball 24 and hit two consecutive sixes off Jadeja but the left-arm spinner had the last laugh by getting rid of the burly West Indian in his fifth ball with Hussey taking a good low catch. The next six batsmen could add only another 17 runs as Mumbai Indians continued their poor away record.
 
Apart from Pollard, Ambati Rayudu (15) also tried to stem the tide, but could not last very long as Dhoni rotated his bowlers intelligently and kept up the pressure on the Mumbai Indians without let.
 
Dwayne Bravo was the pick of the Chennai bowlers with three for nine from his three overs, while Jadeja got three for 31. Mohit Sharma got two while Albie Morkel and Chris Morris picked up one each.
 
Earlier, Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina, who have consistently been among the runs in this season of IPL, added 140 runs in their unfinished partnership for the second wicket after Chennai Super Kings opted to bat first on winning the toss.
 
CSK got off to a good start, with Hussey and the other opener, Murali Vijay (23), putting on 52 for the first wicket before the latter departed, caught at deep square leg by Dwayne Smith of Kieron Pollard in the eighth over.
 
After that, the Mumbai Indians bowlers had no further luck as Hussey and Raina went about their task efficiently, keeping the scoreboard moving at a fair pace continuously.
 
Hussey's 86 came off 58 balls and included two sixes and 10 fours, while Raina, who was the more aggressive of the two today, slammed five sixes and an equal number of fours in his 82, that was made off just 42 balls.
 
Hussey and Raina plundered the bowlers at will and 123 runs came off the last 10 overs.
 
Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson, who bore the brunt of the attack, gave away 85 runs in eight overs between them while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh went wicketless for 26 runs from his four overs.
 
Pollard's one wicket cost him 28 runs in three overs.
 
Chennai Super Kings had ended the league stage at the top of the table, with Mumbai Indians in second place. Both had 11 wins from their 16 matches, but CSK had a better net run rate.
 
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With today's win, Chennai go into the final of the tournament to be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 26.
 
Mumbai Indains will get one more crack at a place in the final, when they meet the winner of tomorrow's eliminator here between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Kolkata on May 24 to decide the second finalist.
 
Scoreboard:
Chennai Super Kings
Mike Hussey not out 86
Murali Vijay c Smith b Pollard 23
Suresh Raina not out 82
Extras  (lb 1) 1
Total (for one wicket in 20 overs) 192
Fall of wickets: 1-52 (Vijay, 7.2 overs)
Bowling:
Mitchell Johnson 4-0-40-0
Munaf Patel 3-0-32-0
Harbhajan Singh 4-0-26-0
Lasith Malinga 4-0-45-0
Pragyan Ojha 2-0-20-0
Kieron Pollard 3-0-28-1
 
Mumbai Indians:
Dwayne Smith c Raina b Jadeja 68
Aditya Tare c Vijay b Morkel 7
Dinesh Karthik lbw b Jadeja 11
Rohit Sharma c Bravo b Morris 8
Kieron Pollard c Hussey b Jadeja 24
Ambati Rayudu c Morris b Sharma  15           
Harbhajan Singh c Vijay b Bravo 0
Mitchell Johnson c Raina b Bravo 6
Lasith Malinga c Hussey b Bravo 0
Pragyan Ojha c Bravo b Sharma 0
Munaf Patel not out 0           
Extras (lb 3, w 1, nb 1) 5           
Total (10 wickets; 18.4 overs) 144            
Fall of wickets: 1-12 (Tare, 1.4 overs), 2-87 (Smith, 8.2), 3-95 (Karthik, 10.3), 4-101 (Sharma, 11.6), 5-127 (Pollard, 14.5), 6-128 (Harbhajan Singh, 15.5), 7-139 (Johnson, 17.3), 8-140 (Malinga, 17.6), 9-144 (Rayudu, 18.2), 10-144 (Ojha, 18.4)
Bowling:
Mohit Sharma 3.4-0-32-2
Albie Morkel 3-0-26-1
Chris Morris 3-0-26-1
Ravichandran Ashwin 2-0-17-0
Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-31-3
Dwayne Bravo 3-0-9-3
 
Match details:
Toss: Chennai Super Kings chose to bat
Umpires: Nigel Llong (England) and Rod Tucker (Australia)
TV umpire: S Ravi
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: CK Nandan
 
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Chasing 193, Mumbai Indians make 92/2 in first 10 overs against CSK

Dwayne Smith of Mumbai Indias during the qualifier 1 match of the Indian Premier League against Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21, 2013. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Dwayne Smith of Mumbai Indias during the qualifier 1 match of the Indian Premier League against Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21, 2013. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS

Chasing 193 for a win, Mumbai Indians made 92 for two wickets in the first 10 of their 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first qualifier (Q1) of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroze Shah Kotla here tonight.

Dinesh Karthik (11) and skipper Rohit Sharma (3) were batting at the half-way mark.
 
Earlier, powered by unbeaten knocks of 86 by opener Michael Hussey and 82 by left-hander Suresh Raina, CSK posted a challenging 192 for one in their 20 overs after opting to bat first.
 
They began their chase in shaky manner, with opener Aditya Tare (7) caught by Murali Vijay at mid-off off Albie Morkel in the second over with the total at 12.
 
Opener Dwayne Smith then steadied the innings with a quickfire 68 that came off just 28 balls and included five sixes and six fours. He added 75 for the second wicket with Karthik before departing in the 9th over, off the second ball sent down by Ravindra Jadeja. He tried to lift the ball over the leg sie but ended up getting a thick outside edge that went straight to Suresh Raina for a simple catch.
 
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Sahara pulls out of IPL, says won't renew sponsorship of Indian team

Pune Warriors logo
Pune Warriors logo

Sahara India Pariwar, which owns the Pune Warriors franchise, today said they had pulled out of the Indian Premier League and also made it clear that they would not renew ther sponsorship of the Indian cricket team when the present contract ends in December this year.

The announcement came at a time when the lucrative cricket tournament is already reeling under allegations of spot-fixing and three players of the Rajasthan Royals have been arrested in this connection.
 
The Sahara Group said in a statement that it had decided to pull out of IPL because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had, despite their repeated demands, not agreed to bring down the franchisee fee because the number of matches was less than what they had told it would be.

CSK make 69/1 in first 10 overs against Mumbai Indians in IPL Qualifier

Michael Hussey of Chennai Super Kings takes a four off the first ball of the match during the qualifier 1 match of the Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21, 2013. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Michael Hussey of Chennai Super Kings takes a four off the first ball of the match during the qualifier 1 match of the Indian Premier League against Mumbai Indians at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on May 21, 2013. Photo by Ron Gaunt-IPL-SPORTZPICS

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) made 69 for one in the first 10 of their 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier (Q1) of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroze Shah Kotla here tonight.

Opener Michael Hussey (39) and the left-handed Suresh Raina (6) were together at the crease at the half-way mark.
 
CSk got off to a good start after they were opted to bat first, with Hussey and Murali Vijay (23) putting on 52 for the first wicket before the latter departed, caught at deep square leg by Dwayne Smith of Kieron Pollard in the eighth over.
 
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Chennai Super Kings opt to bat first against Mumbai Indians in IPL Qualifier I

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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first against Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier (Q1) of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Feroze Shah Kotla here tonight.

The two-time champions included Albie Morkel, who was declared fit to play.
 
Mumbai Indians were again without opener Sachin Tendulkar, who has not recovered from a palm injury. Mitchell Johnson, Dwayne Smith, Pragyan Ojha and Munaf Patel were included. Dhawal Kulkarni, who was injured in Mumbai Indians' last match, was kept out.
 
Chennai Super Kings had ended the league stage at the top of the table, with Mumbai Indians in second place. Both had 11 wins from their 16 matches, but CSK had a better net run rate.
 
The winner of today's match will go into the final of the tournament at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on May 26.
 
The loser will play the winner of tomorrow's eliminator here between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Kolkata on May 24 to decide the second finalist.
 
The teams:
 
Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain. & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, S Badrinath, Chris Morris, Ravichandran Ashwin, Albie Morkel, Mohit Sharma
 
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Aditya Tare, Ambati Rayudu, Rohit Sharma (captain), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kieron Pollard, Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Lasith Malinga, Munaf Patel
 
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IPL spot-fixing: Actor Vindoo Dara Singh arrested for alleged links with bookies

Bollywood actor Virender (Vindoo) Randhawa, who is the son of late wrestler and actor Dara Singh, was among the three people arrested by the Mumbai Police on Tuesday in connection with the alleged spot-fixing scam in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
IPL spot-fixing: Vindoo Dara Singh arrested

Bollywood actor Virender (Vindoo) Randhawa, who is the son of late wrestler and actor Dara Singh, was among the three people arrested by the Mumbai Police today in connection with the alleged spot-fixing scam in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mumbai's Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy told a press conference here that the others arrested today were Alpesh Patel, alleged to be a hawala operator, and Prem Taneja, who he said had links with bookies.
 
Mr Roy said the pollice had, during a search of Patel's premises, found cash worth Rs 1.28 crore.
 
He said the actor Vindoo, 49, who had attracted attention by winning the television reality show Big Boss in December 2009, was arrested for his alleged links to bookies arrested by the police and others wanted by the police in connection with the case.
 
The three were produced before a local magistrate, who remanded them in police custody until May 24.
 
Vindoo was seen on many occasions watching matches during the current season of IPL and also at some of the post-match parties.
 
With this, the number of arrests made by the Mumbai Police in connection with the case has gone up to nine.
 
On May 16, in a sensational development, the Delhi Police had arrested three players of Rajasthan Royals --- former Test player S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- from Mumbai for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing during matches of the ongoing season six of IPL. The Delhi Police also arrested 11 bookies from Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat and other places, including at least two who have played first class cricket in recent years. One of them, Amit Sngh, used to play for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy and for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL for four years.
 
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Even as the Special Cell of the Delhi Police are continuing their investigations into the case, the Mumbai Police has also been pursuing its own probe in the matter. 
 
On May 18, the Mumbai Police searched two rooms in a five-star hotel in the metropolis which were said to have been occupied by Sreesanth and his friend Jiju Janardhan, who has also been arrested by the Delhi Police.
 
Sreesanth was said to have occupied the room, different from the one that his team had booked for him and his teammates in another hotel.
 
From Sreesanth's room, the Mumbai Police recovered a laptop, an ipad, a mobile phone, cash, a data card, cricketing kit, clothes and a diary. From Jiju's room, they found an iPad, a mobile phone and some personal belongings, he said.
 
The Mumbai Police had also raided a premises in Kalbadevi area and arrested a bookie. They seized 92 mobile phones, 18 SIM cards, laptops, cash, television sets, satellite television dish antenna and accounts books from there. According to him, 30 of those mobile phones were used by the bookie to connect bookies in India with their counterparts in Pakistan and Dubai via conference calls.
 
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Renowned Swedish TT player Peter Karlsson to conduct camp in Mumbai

Peter Karlsson. Photo Courtesy: ITTF
Peter Karlsson. Photo Courtesy: ITTF

Renowed Swedish table-tennis player Peter Karlsson, who has been a member of Sweden's World Cup winning team four times between 1989 and 2000 and has won the World Men's Doubles title in 1991, will conduct a four-day training camp here from tomorrow.

As many as 120 players will attend the camp. They will be divided into groups of 30.
 
Karlsson, 44, will be helped by eight-time national champion Kamlesh Mehta and about six to eight other coaches.
 
The camp will be held at the University Pavilion, Marine Lines here under the aegis of the Mumbai City District Table Tennis Association and the Mumbai Suburban District Table Tennis Association.
 
"Peter Karlsson has been an inspiration to every budding table tennis player across the world," the organisers said. He is one of the top coaches of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
 
India's top player Soumyajit Ghosh has been training under Karlsson for the last two years and has shown remarkable improvement, they said.
 
The organisers said that the camp would be a rare opportunity for table tennis players in Mumbai and elsewhere to hone their skills.
 
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Don't want to get distracted: Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma. Photo by Sandeep Shetty-IPL-SPORTZPICS
Rohit Sharma. Photo by Sandeep Shetty-IPL-SPORTZPICS

Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma today said his team does not want to get distracted with the spot-fixing scandal and they are focussed  on playing good cricket against two-time champions Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here tomorrow.

"We don't want to think too much about it (spot-fixing). We are all professional cricketers and we have an important task at hand. So we don't want to get distracted," said Sharma before a training session at the Feroze Shah Kotla.
 
The winner of tomorrow's match will qualify for the final on May 26 in Kolkata. The loser will meet the winner of Wednesday's eliminator between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier which on May 24 in Kolkata, which will decide the second finalist.
 
Mumbai Indians star Sachin Tendulkar still remains doubtful with the injury on his left palm. Tendulkar did not bat at the nets here and only bowled for a while.
 
"We are yet to take a call. We will decide on the morning of the match," said Sharma.
 
Sharma was happy with the way things have worked out for him since taking over as the Mumbai Indians captain from Ricky Ponting, who preferred to drop himself due to poor form.
 
"When it came to me it was like a big challenge. I was ready for it and it came at the right time. The captaincy wasn't a big surprise for me because I was the vice-captain for the last two years and was always kept in the loop when this captaincy came up. I am happy with the way things have worked out for me," he said.
 
Sharma said Mumbai Indians are confident of a good show against Super Kings, who have lost to them twice in the league stage.
 
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"I am not doubting them, but they are a very good side. We have ben playing consistently and we have beaten them twice in the league stage. If we stick to our plans we can beat them again," he said.
 
Asked about Mumbai Indians' poor away record this season, he said: "I don't believe in home and away advantage. Even Chennai Super Kings don't have a good away record. It is all about playing good cricket. I think if we up the ante by at least 10 percent I think we will meet our target."
 
Sharma was all praise for spinner Harbhajan Singh and pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson for giving the Mumbai Indians crucial breakthroughs. 
 
"I think Harbhajan and Johnson are among the top 10 in IPL. Johnson has been giving us the initial breakthroughs. Bhajji has been fantastic as well. We are looking forward to Bhajji to deliver with both ball and ball," he added.
 
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Mumbai Police search rooms in five-star hotel occupied by Sreesanth, Jiju

Mumbai Police seize Sreesanth's laptop, ipad

As the Delhi Police continued their probe into the alleged spot-fixing scam in the ongoing sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), their counterparts in Mumbai today searched two rooms in a five-star hotel which were occupied by cricketer S Sreesanth and his friend, Jiju Janardhan, both of whom have been arrested in the case.

Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, bowlers of the Rajasthan Royals team, were arrested by the Delhi Police from Mumbai in the early hours of May 16.
 
The police also arrested 11 bookies from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad and other places in connection with the alleged spot-fixing.
 
Mumbai's Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said that, on the basis of information received, they searched two rooms in a five-star hotel in the metropolis, different from the hotel that Rajasthan Royals had booked for themseles, which Sreesanth and his friend had booked independently in their names.
 
He said the search revealed that both rooms had been lived in. From Sreesanth's room, they recovered a laptop, an ipad, a mobile phone, cash, a data card, cricketing kit, clothes and a diary. From Jiju's room, they found an ipad, a mobile phone and some personal belongings, he said.
 
Mr Roy said the Mumbai Police had also raided a premises in Kalbadevi area and arrested a bookie. They seized 92 mobile phones, 18 SIM cards, laptops, cash, television sets, satellite television dish antenna and accounts books from there. According to him, 30 of those mobile phones were used by the bookie to connect bookies in India with their counterparts in Pakistan and Dubai via conference calls.
 
The police also arrested another bookie today, he said.
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Mr Roy said the interrogation of the first bookie had shown that he had contacts and financial transactions with some of the bookies arrested by the Delhi Police in the spot-fixing case.
 
Meanwhile, the Jaipur Police today said they would share with their Delhi counterparts call details of some 250 mobile phones that they had seized during raids in the city during the current IPL season.
 
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police continued their questioning of the three arrested players and the bookies even as lawyers for the cricketers insisted their clients were innocent and had been framed.
 
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Indian students win $60,000 Grand Prize at Dell Social Innovation Challenge

Shital Somani and Vaibhav Tidke with their Solar Conduction Dryer
Shital Somani and Vaibhav Tidke with their Solar Conduction Dryer

Two Indian students from Mumbai -- Shital Somani and Vaibhav Tidke -- have won the $ 60,000 grand prize at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC) 2013 for their project, a solar conduction dryer.

The dryer can help address the 20 to 30 per cent food spoilage rate for poor rural farmers through cost-effective dehydrators powered by solar conduction, Somani told the audience at Austin, Texas in the United States in her 90-second pitch.
 
Five finalists, shortlisted from more than 2,600 projects ideas that addressed issues impacting more than 110 countries, convened in Austin this week to compete for the cash prize as part of the DSIC. 
 
The DSIC recognizes undergraduate and graduate students from around the world who envision, create and implement social innovation projects that help communities around the world. 
 
The winning innovation will enable farmers to keep more of their crops and sell dehydrated fruits and vegetables as another income source, a press release from Dell said.
 
The other four 2013 finalists included:
 
-- Foot Soldiers: In second place, Foot Soldiers received $40,000 to sell affordable shoes for the 48 million Bangladeshi who cannot afford proper footwear and are thus at risk for various diseases associated with bare feet. The project will use rubber tires that are currently thrown away or burnt as Bangladesh's car population rises.
 
-- Good-Benefits.com: In third place, Good-Benefits.com received $20,000 to create a "401k for charity" by helping people make payroll contributions to tax-exempt micro-foundation accounts from which they can give funds over time to nonprofits. The project will help companies run simple, engaging workplace giving campaigns.
 
-- The final two finalists, Semka Biomedical Technologies and Citizen Power / Sunriding, received $10,000 each to launch their ideas. Semka, from Mexico, is developing a device capable of performing non-invasive tumor biopsies through blood extraction. Citizen Power, a German team, is building a peer-to-peer online social platform for crowdsourcing urban solar installations.
 
The five finalists participated in networking and mentoring opportunities with social innovation leaders and the final pitches to vie for the grand prize. They presented their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges comprising business leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, and the winner was selected following the pitches.
 
The DSIC identifies and supports promising young social innovators who dedicate themselves to solving some of the world's most pressing problems with their transformative ideas. The Challenge provides students with world-class teaching and training, as well as start-up capital and access to a network of mentors and advisers. Entries are judged on three primary criteria: clarity of the innovation and significance of social impacts potentials; demonstration of a high probability of success; and potential impact from winning DSIC. 
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"Two of the most powerful forces in the world are innovation and entrepreneurship. The Dell Social Innovation Challenge empowers students to become innovators and entrepreneurs. Through our competition, university students from any country are inspired to tackle the issues they are most passionate about and are equipped with the tools and training to bring their ideas to life. This year we will provide mentorship or seed funding to more than 250 teams whose projects span multiple issues, including health, energy, poverty, education and much more. Through our program students are able to create the jobs they want while building the world they want at the same time," said Suzi Sosa, DSIC executive director and associate director, RGK Center.
 
"Dell was founded in a dorm room, and the spirit of entrepreneurship runs deep in our company's DNA. We know that students can change the world, and we're excited to support them with technology, mentorship, networking and funding that can bring their ideas to life," said Trisa Thompson, Dell's vice president of corporate responsibility.
 
"Our Solar Conduction Dryer will act as a boon for the farmers and fishermen with poor access to electricity. The platform provided by DSIC will help us in scaling up our technology to reach the farmers and thus provide them with a revolutionary sustainable technology, to cope up with the agrarian crisis and prosper," said Somani.
 
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BCCI suspends cricketer Amit Singh, will meet Sunday to discuss spot-fixing

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today suspended Gujarat medium-pacer Amit Singh, who was among those arrested by the Delhi Police yesterday in connection with the alleged spot-fixing scam during matches in the ongoing sixth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Singh, who also played for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL for four seasons,  is said to have acted as a conduit between the players and bookies.
 
The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had yesterday, in a move that has rocked the cricketing world, arrested three Rajasthan Royals players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- from Mumbai for allegedly indulging in spot fixing.
 
The BCCI Working Comittee is also scheduled to meet on Sunday to discuss the latest developments.
 
The BCCI has already suspended Sreesanth, Chandila and Chavan, who were remanded for five days in police custody by a local court yesterday.
 
"The Working Committee will discuss, among other things, the fallout of the spot-fixing controversy in the ongoing IPL, in which three players have been arrested by the Delhi Police," BCCI Honorary Secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement.
 
"Amit Singh, a registered player with the Gujarat Cricket Association, who has also been arrested by the Delhi Police, has been suspended by the BCCI, pending inquiry," he said. 
 
Singh, who has played 20 first class games for Gujarat, played his last IPL match in May 2012. He had been reported at least twice for a suspect bowling action.
 
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Actor Sanjay Dutt surrenders in Mumbai court to serve out remainder of sentence

Sanjay Dutt surrenders in Tada Court

Well-known Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt surrendered before a special court in Mumbai this afternoon to serve out the remaining three and a half years of his sentence in a case related to the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

Dutt was taken into judicial custody and later sent to the Arthur Road Jail for medical tests and other formalities.
 
Once all the formalities are completed, he will be shifted to one of the prisons in Maharashtra, most likely the Yerwada Jail in Pune, where he had served one and a half years of the sentence given to him some years ago.
 
Earlier, Dutt, 53, arrived at the court in a convoy cars which carried his wife and other members of his family and his relatives and friends, shadowed all along the route by scores of cameramen.
 
Among those present were his wife Manyata, sister and Lok Sabha member Priya Dutt, his brother-in-law Owen Roncon and their friend and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
 
There were chaotic scenes outside the court, with hundreds of cameramen and onlookers crowding around Dutt's car, making it difficult for him to get out of the car. His personal security guards and friends had a tough time keeping the crowds at bay and it was a considerable time before the actor emerged out of the vehicle and pleaded with the photographs to allow him to go into the building and surrender to the court.
 
The Supreme Court had on March 21 upheld Dutt's conviction under the Arms Act in the 20-year-old case but reduced his sentence from six years to the minimum of five years.
 
After spending about 18 months in jail earlier, he had been on bail since November 2007. The court had given him four weeks to surrender to a court as were the nearly 100 others whose cases were decided on the same day by it.
 
On a plea by Dutt, the court gave him an extra four weeks to surrender to enable him to fulfil some of his film commitments but an effort by some producers to get him more time to finish their movies did not work, with the apex court rejecting their application.
 
Dutt's lawyers also filed a review petition, which was turned down by the court. He now has the option of filing curative petition after surrendering before the Mumbai court and resuming his sentence. Some people have also filed mercy petitions on his behalf, and the Governor of Maharashtra and the President will take a view on them in due course.
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Apart from deciding on Dutt's case, the Supreme Court had also on March 21 upheld the death sentence awarded to Yakub Memon for his role as one of the masterminds of the 1993 Mumbai blasts, in which 257 people were killed and 713 injured, but commuted the capital punishment given to 10 others to life sentence.
 
The 13 coordinated bomb blasts in the country's financial capital on March 12, 1993, which targeted places such as the Bombay Stock Exchange and the Air India building, were the  deadliest terror attack in India that followed the communal violence in the metropolis in the wake of the destruction of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.
 
Dutt and the others in the case had been convicted and sentenced by the TADA court earlier.
 
Dutt, son of well-known actors, the late Sunil Dutt and the late Nargis Dutt, was convicted in November 2006 for illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and an AK-56 rifle. He was, however, acquitted of the more serious charges of criminal conspiracy under the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Prevention Act, which is now defunct. While doing so, the court had taken into account Dutt's own statements that he had procured the weapons only for self-defence because of threats to him and his family in the circumstances prevailing in Mumbai at that time.
 
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BCCI suspends Rajasthan Royals players accused of spot fixing

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today said the three Rajasthan Royals players -- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- arrested by the Delhi Police today for alleged spot fixing in matches in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) had been suspended by it pending enquiry.

"The BCCI is shocked and saddened at the recent developments. The BCCI has zero tolerance to corruption. We will offer all cooperation to the Delhi police and all other authorities in their investigations in this matter," a statement from BCCI, the governing body for the game in India, said.
 
"The IPL Governing Council has met and decided that the cricketers found involved will be dealt with severely," it said.
 
The statement said that all information required to bring the persons involved to book will be collected and strictest action will be taken, if they are found guilty.
 
"The BCCI engages the services of the anti corruption wing of the ICC to educate and monitor players and support staff in prevention of corruption of any form in the game. In fact, it is wholly unfortunate that despite such education, best playing conditions and terms of engagement offered, some players seem to be indulging in such activity," the statement added.
 
Meanwhile, BCCI President N Srinivasan told mediapersons via video conference from Chennai that a few corrupt players did not mean that the entire IPL was also corrupt.
 
"One or two bad eggs here and there cannot sully the entire game. I don't think it is a case of players not having enough money. If at all, you can call it greed. We have to objectively examine what further steps can we take and how we can demonstrate that these things don't pay at all. I don't subscribe that the IPL is untenable," Mr Srinivasan said.
 
He said the BCCI would take all possible and necessary steps to end this kind of corruption. "We will enforce the severest punishment to the players if found guilty. What is shocking is that one Test and a Ranji player were caught. We cannot go into the detail right now as we do not have enough information. We just know that they have been arrested and the police have got evidence against the three. We have not seen the FIR yet. We would like to see the evidence and take further action," he said.
 
"We hoped that after the ban on five players last year, the message was sent out loud and clear. But as police have informed us, the bookie network is huge. We thought when we made an example last year, we thought the message was clear. But it is truly sad that this has happened. If there are bad seeds, they are there.
 
"We will take whatever steps are necessary for people to understand this is a very serious matter and you can get into a lot of trouble. But we must understand we are just the BCCI. If there is a criminal act, police has to take steps," Mr Srinivasan added.
 
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L&T Construction secures orders worth Rs 2542 crore in April-May

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said that its construction division had bagged new orders valued at over Rs 2542 crore across various business segments in April and May this year.

A press release from the company said its Building & Factories Business had bagged new orders worth Rs 1021 crores for the construction of residential towers, a cement plant and a factory at various locations across India, including additional orders from operating projects.
 
It said the Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business has secured new orders worth Rs 866 crores for the Kochi Metro Rail Project. The scope of work includes construction of an elevated viaduct, elevated stations including architectural finishing work of stations and connecting the viaduct and ramp to the depot on Alwaye-Petta line of the project.
 
In the Transportation Infrastructure Business, a new order worth Rs 315 crores has been received from Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited for the design and  construction of 2x25 kV electrification, signaling, telecommunication and associated works for a double track railway line on the New Karwandiya-Durgauti section of the eastern corridor.
 
The Water & Renewable Energy Business has secured EPC orders worth Rs 148 crores from the Public Health Engineering Department, Rajasthan for a water supply distribution system for 97 villages at Tehsil Ladnu in Rajasthan.
 
Additional orders worth Rs 192 crores have been received for one of the operating projects under Power Transmission and Distribution Business, the release added.
 
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