'IPL is here to stay' - BCCI secretary
Sanjay Patel, the newly appointed BCCI secretary, has said the Indian Premier League has a place in cricket despite the recent arrests and allegations relating to spot-fixing and betting.
"IPL is here to stay. There are external problems in the league and we are going to address each and every element before next year," Patel told the Times of India. "Jagmohan Dalmiya (the interim BCCI president) is known to take tough steps and with so many senior officials around, I don't think these recent events can stall the league. Cricket is bigger than individuals."
India fast bowler Sreesanth and his Rajasthan Royals team-mates Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested for alleged indulgence in spot-fixing and consequently suspended by the BCCI. Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of the then BCCI president N Srinivasan and a top management official of the Chennai Super Kings, was arrested on charges of betting, fraud and forgery and Raj Kundra, co-owner of Rajasthan Royals confessed to betting as well. Treasurer Ajay Shirke, secretary Sanjay Jagdale and IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla resigned from their posts and Srinivasan temporarily stepped aside as president at a BCCI Working Committee meeting in Chennai, until a two-man independent committee reached a verdict on Meiyappan and Kundra's transgressions.
"We will initiate a stricter code of conduct for the cricketers." said Patel, who is joint secretary of the Baroda Cricket Association and member of the IPL governing council. "We stopped the after-match parties a long time ago. The BCCI had nothing to do with the get together that was happening during the IPL season. The BCCI can't allow anything that is tarnishing the image of the league."
He also directed attention to other aspects of the BCCI and Indian cricket. "Apart from the IPL, everything in the board is functioning well. Our cricket team is doing well in England and there are no worries with the day-to-day working of the board. There is also a probe committee which is looking into the IPL."
The committee's decision is likely to be announced after the Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on June 10.