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October 14, 2013
Michael Hussey, the Chennai Super Kings and former Australia batsman, has said he might have been "a little bit wrong" when he wrote in his autobiography that Gurunath Meiyappan, who was arrested for alleged illegal betting in May, was in charge of Super Kings. Hussey also said that he has met with and apologised to N Srinivasan, the BCCI president who is the vice-chairman and managing director of the company that owns Super Kings. Hussey said they met at a team dinner where Srinivasan was present.
Speaking on the Cricket Couch podcast on ESPNcricinfo, Hussey said he would not question Srinivasan, who would "know a lot better" about who was running the IPL team. Srinivasan had distanced himself and the franchise from Gurunath - who also happens to be his son-in-law - calling him "an enthusiast". Gurunath was charged by Mumbai police last month with cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, including passing on information that compromised the team.
"Certainly Guru was around the team a lot. I knew he was talking to Kepler [Wessels, Super Kings' coach in IPL 2008] and the players, and we saw him at training and at the hotel. I didn't know what his official title was but he was around the team quite often," Hussey said. "I probably may have written the wrong thing.
"I knew he was a close part of the team, no question about that, and I saw him around the team pretty much every day. [But] I am certainly not going to question the word of Mr Srinivasan. I think he would know a lot better than me about who is running the show. So maybe I got that a little bit wrong."
Srinivasan had stepped aside from the day-to-day administration of the BCCI after Gurunath's arrest. He was cleared to resume office by the Supreme Court of India only last week, after being re-elected as BCCI chief, unopposed, at the end of September. Gurunath and Super Kings were initially cleared of "wrongdoing" by the BCCI's probe panel, but the courts have since ruled the panel to be constituted illegally and set up a fresh investigation. Part of the investigation would be to establish Gurunath's exact role at Super Kings - he was often seen in the team dugout, at the auction table to represent Super Kings, represented himself as the team prinicipal on a verified Twitter account, and his IPL accreditation represented him as an owner.
Hussey's book had said: "Our owner was Indian Cements, headed by Mr Srinivasan. As he was also on the board of the BCCI, he gave control of the team to his son-in-law Mr Gurunath. He ran the team along with Kepler Wessels, who was coach."
Hussey said he has since cleared the air with Srinivasan. "We had a team dinner where Mr Srinivasan came along," Hussey said. "I spoke to him very briefly about it and apologised if I caused him any grief. He was fine and said, 'No, don't worry, it is all fine. There is no issue with all you said. It was all written before all the controversies came out, anyway. You don't have anything to worry about.'"
Hussey said he hoped to be associated with Super Kings in some capacity even after he stops playing. "I certainly hope not [that the comments in his book would affect his relationship with the franchise]. I have a fantastic rapport with everyone at CSK. I get on very well with the coach. I get on very well with the players and have had a lot of success with CSK. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and they are a fantastic franchise. I would love to continue there in whatever capacity in the future."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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