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Preity Zinta revelations? IPL's credibility continues to sink further

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:47 IST

After Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the IPL in July, another franchise Kings XI Punjab has found its way into the spotlight after reports claiming its co-owner Preity Zinta to have seen suspicious activities within her team emerged on 19 August.

According to a report in the Indian Express, Preity Zinta met the IPL working group on 8 August and told the BCCI officials that she had seen such activities from close quarters. Zinta wanted to speak to the officials earlier about this issue but possessed no proof to justify her claims.

The report claimed that Zinta had suspected some players from the Punjab franchise to have indulged in unfair practices linked to throwing the matches away and also felt at times that some of the IPL games involving her team had followed a pre-decided pattern.

The anonymous sources quoted in the report claimed that the Punjab co-owner told the officials that she came to know about the suspicious activities in the IPL after a certain individuals accurately predicted the outcome of a game or a period of play in her presence.

Following her suspicion, the Bollywood actor also claimed to have confronted a player angrily over the issue on one occasion and later tipped off other franchises about the players she suspected.

Zinta labels media report as completely false and inaccurate

While the Indian Express was unable to reach Preity Zinta for comment, the Punjab co-owner slammed the report and labeled it as completely false in her post on Facebook.

"This piece of article is completely false, libel per say, inaccurate and an irresponsible piece of journalism," Zinta said. "I really would like to know who these sources are in this story?

I am very proud to be part of KXIP. We have the best team & support staff & under No circumstance will I tolerate slander towards me or my team, specially when it comes to our Integrity.

I will sincerely appreciate it, if responsible media do not try to damage our reputation & business by fueling this false article," she wrote.

IPL working group member also disputed the report

A BCCI official, who is also a member of the IPL working group, slammed the story in a message to Firstpost. According to the official, what Zinta did was advocate the use of random lie detector tests as a way of creating a foolproof system to prevent corruption in cricket. The use of lie detector tests has also been advocated by former cricketers, including the Australian great Steve Waugh.

IPL's credibility continues to sink further

Though we'll never be able to find out whether the report is true or what really unfolded in the meeting between Preity Zinta and the IPL working group, but the latest claims have only added to the continuous downfall of the tournament's credibility.

The 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal and the recent verdict in the case has tarnished the image of the league with its sponsors and franchise owners expressing their concerns over the credibility of the tournament.

In a written statement to the Mumbai Mirror, a PepsiCo India spokesman said, "The faith of cricket fans is important and needs to be restored in the interest of the game." On the other hand, Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia told the Times of India that "sponsors will begin to lose faith in the running of the league if there is no stability."

First published: 19 August 2015, 3:23 IST
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.