Belagavi Panthers are one of the most successful teams of Karnataka Premier League (KPL) representing the city of Belagavi in Karnataka. They have been the part of the KPL since its inception. They were the runners up of the inaugural season, won KPL in 2017-18 season and reached the qualifiers in 2019.
It was smooth sailing for Belagavi Panthers until the spot-fixing saga unfolded. The Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) on Thursday suspended the Belagavi Panthers after the team owner Ali Ashfaq Thara was arrested over the fixing scandal.
Releasing a statement on the issue, the KSCA made it clear that Stern action will be taken against Ali Ashfaq if he is found guilty.
“Based on the initial investigation report, the KSCA has suspended the owners of Belagavi Panthers, one of the franchises of the Karnataka Premier League (KPL). In case they are found guilty, their franchise will be terminated.”, the statement read.
Many first class cricketers including the former Karnataka captain CM Gautam have already been arrested in relation to the case. It is believed that the arrested players accepted a huge sum of money to under-perform in the matches of the 2018 edition of Karnataka Premier League (KPL).
KSCA has affirmed that they will lend all possible cooperation to the investigation team of crime branch to dig out the entire truth and to ensure that appropriate action is taken against the corrupt individuals. KSCA has made it very clear that any form of betting or match-fixing is unacceptable within their system.
Betting and match-fixing have been haunting cricket for the last four decades, but in the recent times, there have been quite a few cases which have popped up.
The ICC suspended 3 UAE players (Mohammad Naveed, Shaiman Anwar, Qadeer Ahmed) on charges of corruption last month and then a few days ago, the cricketing fraternity was left shell-shocked when it was announced that a 1-year ban was imposed on the former Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Shakib was banned by the ICC for failing to report matching fixing approaches made to him.