Bookie turns out to be social butterfly

New Delhi: The BCCI’s war of attrition turned bitter on Monday after the Indian board’s secretary Anurag Thakur delivered a strongly-worded letter to ICC chairman N Srinivasan after the former’s images with an alleged bookie Karan Gilhotra were made public.

However, it turns out that Thakur is not the only one to have been clicked with Gilhotra; the list includes some big names.

According to media reports, Gilhotra socialises a lot with bureaucrats, Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan and even cricketers. 

Apart from Thakur, Gilhotra is also pictured with India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Little Master Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag among others during the second edition of the Indian Premier League in South Africa.

On that note, it will be interesting to see if ICC’s stand for those big names will remain the same as one taken against Thakur.

In his reply to ICC’s letter, Thakur took to Twitter on Monday as he not only questioned ICC’s investigation but also shared the letter he sent to Srinivasan, in which he also took a dig at the ICC chairman while saying Srinivasan hasn’t reconciled with his election as BCCI secretary.

While asking Srinivasan to share the list of “unverified suspected bookies” with him and other BCCI officials, Thakur was quick to remind Srinivasan about the proven involvement of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in betting.

“I only wish that you had shared the list of unverified suspected bookies with me and other colleagues so that we can could identify such persons and keep away from them,” Thakur wrote in the letter. “You may also share this information with your family members, whose involvement in betting has been proved.”

About his picture with Gilhotra, Thakur added: “I have known this person who has been active in the political and cricketing activities in Punjab and adjacent states. I had no knowledge or any clue about his ‘activities as a suspected bookie’.

A day later, reports in the media have further deepened the controversy. It says that Gilhotra, in his picture with Dhoni, is wearing a card with IPL logo on it.

“I had gone there [to South Africa in 2009) and trust me, the card which you see on my neck, I didn’t steal it,” Gilhotra told a leading daily. “It was given to me. Now I don’t exactly remember what was the designation printed on the card, but it is a clearly a case of defaming. I feel that they [ICC] should have investigated the matter properly before coming out and calling me an ‘unverified suspected bookie’,” he was quoted as saying.

Gilhotra, 38, comes from a small village called Ghaniani near Fazilka in Punjab. According to The Tribune, he is in the Limca Book of records for being the youngest ever sarpanch in India at the age of 21 years and four months.



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