Didn’t know they were bookies, says Harmeet Singh
He had spent yet another sleepless night, this time in New Delhi, having waited nearly three months to get his name cleared from the spot-fixing scandal. In the end, his 15-minute meeting with BCCI’s diciplinary committee went in his favour and the Indian board gave him a clean chit saying, “The case against Harmeet Singh has been closed in the absence of evidence against him.”
The last three months have been frustrating for the 21-year-old left-arm spinner from Mumbai, with doors closing on him one by one. He was supposed to join Vidarbha, but the association decided not to have him on board after his name cropped up in the spot-fixing scandal.
“These last three months were very tough for me. Everyone I met would look at me suspiciously. I knew I had done no crime. It was hard to explain to every person what had actually happened. Finally the verdict is out and I’m happy that I will play cricket again,” Harmeet told The Indian Express.
While the BCCI anti-corruption and security unit chief Ravi Sawani’s report had found Harmeet guilty of not informing the board about his meeting with bookies, Harmeet maintains that he had, in fact, informed the BCCI’s officials two days after the scandal broke. The disciplinary committee then gave the left-arm spinner a clean chit.
“I informed the board about it right after the matter came out. I was shocked. I didn’t know that the men I met were bookies, and I only came to know when this whole issue came out. Even in my written statement to the magistrate I wrote everything I knew,” the left-arm spinner said.
With his name cleared, Harmeet will be playing his first competitive game in local cricket in the Kanga League. He hopes Mumbai will open their doors again and that he will be part of their Ranji side. He wants to start afresh and with age on his side, Harmeet is hopeful that the bad times will pass.
“The trauma I faced and that my family had to suffer because of it was terrible. The worst is when you know that you are innocent and still your name is dragged into it. I’m thankful to BCCI for hearing my case. I was always hopeful of coming out clean. I just want to forget this incident and focus getting a place in the Ranji side now,” he said.