India news June 27, 2013

Bindra asks for ICC enquiry on Srinivasan

ESPNcricinfo staff

IS Bindra, the former BCCI president and principal advisor to the ICC president, has asked the ICC to conduct an enquiry into the actions of N Srinivasan to bar him from the activities of the ICC pending the completion of such an investigation.

In an open letter to the ICC/ IDI (ICC Development International, the commercial arm of the International Cricket Council) boards, who began their annual conference in London on Tuesday, Bindra wrote: "If India, through its public, has rejected Mr Srinivasan's presence in the BCCI, there is no reason why the ICC should acknowledge his position." He asked the ICC to "hold an enquiry into all points raised above and disallow Mr Srinivasan from attending any meeting of the ICC till such time you reach a conclusion. I am aware that this request of mine is well within your rights and as per the ICC Code of Ethics, needs to be investigated."

Bindra, who along with Jagmohan Dalmiya turned cricket into a highly successful business property from a mere sport primarily through the sale of broadcast rights, has been a vocal critic of Srinivasan and was the first board member to demand his resignation during the recent crisis.

He cited several instances of impropriety by Srinivasan.

The arrest of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in relation to betting allegations in the IPL, he said, meant Srinivasan was in breach of various codes that ICC directors, of which he is one, need to adhere to under the Code of Ethics.

Srinivasan, Bindra claimed, was in direct intervention of the clause 2.1 which states: Directors shall act in an ethical manner and shall not engage in conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety.

He was also allegedly in breach of clause 7 of the code, which deals with 'Betting, Gaming and Gambling', sub-section 7.2, sub-para (d) reads: "It is not permitted and a Director shall be in breach of this Code if a member of his immediate family (being a spouse, parent, sibling, son or daughter) has a controlling interest in a betting business, a substantial relationship with a betting business or is employed in the day to day operational control of a betting business."

While Meiyappan doesn't run a betting business, the fact that he has been charged by the police with being involved in betting may result in the clause being applied in this instance.

Bindra also pointed to a potential conflict of interest should Srinivasan attend the meeting of the finance and commercial affairs (F&CA) committee, of which he is an independent member, during the annual conference.

"I must mention here that Star, the current official broadcast partner (of the ICC) is also through one of its channels [Life OK] a sponsor of none other than Chennai Super Kings, the IPL team owned by a company controlled by Mr Srinivasan," Bindra wrote.

Star Sports are broadcast partners for all ICC events till 2015, and the F&CA committee has been deliberating renewal of rights and will advise the ICC Board on future course of action.

Bindra also wrote about another potential conflict of interest, the more publicised one involving Srinivasan owning an IPL franchise through his company India Cements despite being a BCCI office-bearer, and a member of the ICC Board thereby.

"I have not heard of any declaration being made by Mr Srinivasan regarding his involvement with the Chennai Super Kings and this must surely contravene Clause 4.1 of the ICC Code of Ethics."

According to Clause 4.1, "Directors must be free from any influence which might interfere or appear to interfere with the proper and efficient discharge of their duties, or which might be inconsistent with their duty of loyalty to the ICC. It is also the duty of Directors not to use their position with the ICC for personal advantage or gain. To that end no Director shall have an undisclosed conflict of interest."

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