IPL Spot Fixing: Tainted Shalabh Srivastava says it’s a trap, Hussey too defends his players

Everyone in my team, everyone in Kings XI Punjab as a brand plays with utmost integrity and if any print or TV media tries to write differently or say something differently about my team, then I will be very disappointed, says Kings XI skipper David Hussey, according to a report in the Indian Express. Meanwhile, tainted player Shalabh Srivastava says it's a trap.

Refusing to be drawn into the furore surrounding a TV sting operation which claims to have exposed corruption in the IPL, Kings XI Punjab skipper David Hussey said he would be "very disappointed" if the media puts a question mark on the integrity of his players. “I can't really comment on the sting," said Hussey at the post-match press conference after his team lost to Delhi Daredevils by 5 wickets in a crucial Indian Premier League match here last night.

Five uncapped Indian cricket players were suspended with immediate effect pending an inquiry as the BCCI cracked the whip in the wake of the TV sting operation.

Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab), T P Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali were suspended after a teleconference of top BCCI officials and members of the IPL Governing Council yesterday.

Meanwhile according to a report in The Times Of India, Shalabh Srivastava says he was sitting in his Lucknow home, playing with his two-year-old daughter, when the world around him exploded. "I didn't know what was happening," he said the morning after a sting operation showed the Team Punjab player as a willing party to spot-fixing offers.

"This is a trap," Shalabh, a fast bowler from UP, told TOI. "Ask them to show the video clip in which I am demanding money or I am bowling no-balls. They have just put my photograph and played some telephone recordings which have been heavily edited," he explained.

Shalabh, who has been at home for over a month now due to a knee injury, said "these people" had first got in touch with him a year ago, just after IPL-4. "They said they were a sports management company and wanted to handle my account. I met them maybe four times, and we just spoke about how to take it forward. They explained that they had other players on their rolls too and finally signed me up for Rs 18 lakh per annum. They were supposed to pay me a further Rs 10 lakh as signing bonus, but that didn't materialize for a long time," he said.

Meanwhile, All the five cricketers shown in the TV sting are expected to appear before the BCCI'S Anti-corruption Unit in New Delhi on Wednesday. The franchise of the players — Shalabh Srivastava, Amit Yadav, Abhinav Bali (all Kings XI Punjab), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors) and TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers) — have reportedly told their players to appear before the ACU team on Wednesday.

“I have complete faith in my franchise and also BCCI, and I will put the truth of the entire episode before the ACU team, on how I was trapped by the socalled agents for this,” Shalabh Srivastava told Hindustan Times on Tuesday.

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