The name Sobers Joban might have been new for many but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the name is a familiar one. The former domestic cricketer is all over the news for all the wrong reasons and is on BCCI’s radar for exactly those reasons.
Joban, who played in age-group games for Haryana and Delhi, was recently exposed as a spot-fixer by English news outlet The Sun. In a video released by the outlet, Joban was seen purportedly offering to sell details of ‘fixed’ sessions of the ongoing Ashes Test in Perth. He had gone on to boast about his connections with players from Australia, South Africa and Pakistan.
And while Jobans’s name is doing the rounds after the latest sting operation, he was first red-flagged by the BCCI in 2015 according to the board’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit chief Neeraj Kumar. The board first took note of Joban for allegedly duping domestic cricketers after promising slots in IPL and Ranji teams in exchange for Rs 3-4 lakh.
“In anti-corruption investigation, we use the term Person of Interest and Joban falls into that category. The ACSU received complaints from players cheated by Joban. He took money from them in return for a place in IPL or domestic teams. When he failed to keep his word, the players approached us,” Kumar was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
“We had advised the players to stay away from Joban because he was cheating cricketers. His photograph was also circulated. Some of the players also told us that they knew of Joban or had seen him. We have been watching him closely over the last two years,” he added.
Kumar further opened up on Joban’s modus operandi, saying that the alleged spot-fixer used to run unofficial T20 leagues. Revealing the details of Joban used to manipulate the tournaments, Kumar said that he would not rule out the possibility of Joban being involved in spot-fixing.
“Joban’s name cropped up during questioning after we busted the Rajputana Cricket League. He knows how to organise a tournament and set up teams. He seems to be at the service of organisers of these shady leagues. I wouldn’t put it beyond him to be involved in spot-fixing because his methods are similar. Joban would also take teams to Goa and the North-East,” said the officer.
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