Sex-for-selection in cricket: Cricketer Rahul Sharma claims IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla’s aide sought prostitutes

Mohammad Akram saifi

IPL chairman’s aide Mohammed Akram Saifi denies the charges levelled by the cricketer, says he is being falsely implicated

The Hush Post: A cricketer from Uttar Pradesh, Rahul Sharma, has levelled serious allegations against Mohammed Akram Saifi, –the close  aide of the Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajiv Shukla– claiming that Saifi had asked him to arrange prostitutes and send them to a five-star hotel to get a place in the UP team.

On the other hand, Mohammed Akram Saifi -Rajiv Shukla’s executive assistant– has denied all the allegations and said he is being wrongly accused.

A report by The Indian Express says Hindi news channel, News 1, ran a taped phone conversation between Mohammed Akram Saifi and the UP cricketer Rahul Sharma who has claimed to be a victim of the “sex-for-selection” row.

Rahul Sharma has further alleged tha Saifi used to provide false age certificates to the players who would then go on to play age-group tournaments, which are organised the apex body of Indian cricket, the report said.

A few other players who were on the show alleged that Akram would ask them bribes in return for a place in the team. Despite not holding any official position in the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, Shukla’s executive assistant exercises a lot of power, the cricketers reportedly said.

But, Mohammed Akram Saifi has denied the allegations and claimed that the group of players is tarnishing his name, considering he is associated with the IPL boss. He also pointed out that Sharma never made it to the junior team, let alone the senior state team, the report said.

Saifi also questioned why it had taken three years for Rahul Sharma and his supporters to reveal the allegation to the public but the news daily confirmed the TV show didn’t reveal the date of the recorded phone conversation.

“The boy says he sent a girl to me. If his allegations are true, then he should have played cricket, right? Did he? No. His allegation would have been proven had he played for UP,” Saifi was quoted as saying in the report. “Never once has his name appeared in the 60-player list of UP, neither has he played any junior cricket,” Saifi said.

Saifi was further quoted: “The truth will come out soon. I’m associated with such a big man (Shukla) so it’s natural that people will attack me from all corners. This is done by dissatisfied people, including those close to me. Yeh pura ek khel hai bahut logon ka [This is all a game for a lot of people]. There is a group of some 15-odd people who were involved in this. Why’s this allegation come now if the incident dates back to 2015? Why is he coming out in public in 2018?”

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) joint secretary Yudhveer Singh has dismissed charges of corruption in the selection and said the state body was open to an inquiry, the report said.

“We are open to any inquiry. We follow a very transparent selection process at the UPCA. I can’t comment on the conversation between the two as it is their personal matter. I have checked about Rahul Sharma and found out that he has never even been a part of the state probables. He has no credibility,” Yudhveer Singh was quoted as saying in the report.

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