Hunger for money and a luxurious lifestyle has landed a former cricketer in jail. Nagaraju Budumuru who was a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) has been arrested by the Andhra Pradesh Cyber Police for duping people in the name of getting sponsorship deals. While Budumuru has been fooling people by posing as the Personal Secretary of Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy, his network was tracked by the police when he tried to dupe a corporate house. 

Posing as Nageshwar Reddy, the personal assistant of AP chief minister, Budumuru reached out to a corporate house seeking sponsorship for emerging cricketers from the state including Ricky Bhui. He had also emailed a bunch of forged documents to establish his identity and association with the National Cricket Academy, convincing the company to forward ₹12 lakhs as sponsorship money. After weeks of not hearing back from the “cricket board”, the company representatives lodged a complaint against the unknown conman in January.

Dr Balsing Rajput, DCP (cyber-crime), said, “After receiving the complaint, our team began tracking the money that was supposed to be given as sponsorship. The money trail pointed out to Budumuru. We nabbed him from his native place — Yavaripetta in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh earlier this week.”

Out of the ₹12 lakh that was transferred into the account provided to the complainant by the accused, the police were able to freeze an amount of ₹7,66,000 spread over different accounts.

Notably, Budumuru represented Andhra Pradesh in Ranji Trophy between 2014 and 2016. He was also a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in IPL, and India B team from 2016 to 2018. Police say after his cricketing career nosedived in 2018, he took to cheating to keep up with the luxurious lifestyle, he had grown used to.

“When he stopped doing well on the field after 2018, he started missing the luxurious lifestyle that he had become used to. That was his primary motive behind conning people under various pretexts,” said an official from the cyber police.