CM Gautam smashed 257 and 264 in the 22012/13 Ranji season that saw him finish with 943 runs at an average of over 100. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
The Karnataka Premier League match fixing and spot fixing scandal has gotten bigger and the arrest of two players in CM Gautam and Abrar Kazi has sent shockwaves in Karnataka's cricketing fraternity. The arrest of CM Gautam, in particular, is massive considering the amount of experience and contributions that he has done for Karnataka cricket during their glory days. The arrest has come during the 2019 Karnataka Premier League in which they have been accused of involvement in match-fixing in the final between Bellary Tuskers, also known as Ballari Tuskers and Hubli Tigers. Both have been accused of accepting Rs 20 lakh each for slow batting.
The charges on Gautam, who has been included in the Goa side for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, is significant due to his experience in the domestic circuit. Known as Chidhambaram Muralidharen Gautam, he was born in Bangalore and made his First Class debut in 2008 for Karnataka against Uttar Pradesh. As a wicketkeeper, he was solid and filled up the void left by long-serving Karnataka keeper Thilak Naidu admirably. However, in 2012/13, he achieved his breakthrough year in domestic cricket.
His contributions with the bat helped Karnataka go the distancen in the 2012/13 season. His 257 against Vidarbha and his 264 against Maharashtra was the pinnacle of his batting performances. Apart from big scores, Gautam showed that he could modify his approach to batting when the situation demanded. Against Tamil Nadu, he smashed 130 and scored 71 in a tense game against Delhi to help Karnataka win despite conceding a first innings lead. His 943 runs in the 2012/13 season at an average of 117 helped Karnataka achieve the double treble of winning the Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare and Irani trophy in two consecutive seasons.
His performances in the Ranji Trophy helped him get a spot in the India A side for the series against Australia in 2013. Even in the Indian Premier League, he has been part of three teams, being selected for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians. He did not get a chance with RCB and had relative success in Delhi and Mumbai.
In 94 games, he had smashed 4716 runs at an average of 41 with 10 centuries and 24 fifties. In the 2019 seasons, after a decade with Karnataka, Gautam shifted to Goa where he struggled. In the KPL, he smashed 92* and 96 against Mysuru Warriors and Belagavi Panthers before his knock of 29 in the final against Hubli Tigers of 29 balls got him in the spotlight for slow batting. With so much experience, this arrest in the ongoing Karnataka Premier League comes as a body blow to his career.