India news March 26, 2014

Suspend IPL pending clean-up - former BCCI chief

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shashank Manohar, the former BCCI president, has called for the IPL to be suspended "until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored". Manohar - who was succeeded as president by N Srinivasan - has also called for all IPL matches to be investigated, and voiced his concern over the decision to stage part of the 2014 IPL in the UAE, which, he says, "will further tarnish the already murky waters surrounding the tournament".

"The Supreme Courts observation is that there are very, very serious allegations made in the report and unless the BCCI president steps down, no fair probe can be conducted," Manohar said in a statement. "I had said long back, when the scandal broke, that all IPL matches should be investigated. I feel that a thorough probe needs to be done by CBI as the canvas of the activities extends throughout the country.

"In view of the serious allegations, regarding betting, spot-fixing and match-fixing, the public at large has lost it's faith in IPL games.

"Considering the latest developments in the BCCI, it is my considered opinion that until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for the year 2014 should be suspended. As regards suspending IPL 2014, the board members should remind themselves that money/profits is neither the aim nor the objective of the board. The primary duty is to promote a clean game of cricket.

"Many years back, a conscious decision was taken by the BCCI to abstain from matches in the Middle East in view of certain information regarding rampant betting and match-fixing. As far as I know, that decision has not been revoked. Due to the upcoming Lok Sabha [India's lower house of Parliament] elections, the decision to shift IPL matches to the Middle East will further tarnish the already murky waters surrounding the tournament. I had already said earlier that all IPL matches should first be investigated and only then can all the erring parties be punished and the clean-up initiated. What has been lately revealed could well be the tip of the iceberg.

"Cricket is the most popular game in India and enjoys a dedicated viewership of millions. This viewership is what generates income and fuels BCCI's clout on an international level. If the faith of the public is not restored, the BCCI would be failing the public which has catapulted it to being the most influential player on the international scene."

Manohar's statements came a day after the Supreme Court of India recommended that Srinivasan quit his role as BCCI president, as the first move towards a fair investigation of the IPL corruption saga. The court had given Srinivasan two days to make his decision, before it resumes hearing the case on Thursday.

IS Bindra, another former BCCI president, also came out strongly against Srinivasan. "It is a moment of shame for us to see the game gaining such disrepute across the globe for a single man's obsession with power," Bindra wrote on his personal website. He expressed displeasure at the BCCI's "top brass" remaining silent on the scathing observations made by the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday. "What surprises me even more is the fact that there has been no murmur from the top brass in the BCCI," Bindra said. "Yes, there have been statements from the BCCI vice-presidents but they are too open-ended."

Like Manohar, Bindra, too, questioned the scheduling of IPL matches in Sharjah, a venue he described as "the hotbed of fixing" and the "epicenter of nefarious activities" in cricket. He also agreed with Manohar's suggestion that the this season of the IPL need be cancelled. "With so many doubts and questions around the tournament's integrity, the players and officials' integrity, it is better to not have the tournament this year," Bindra said.

Sharad Pawar, another former BCCI president, echoed the others' views. "The prevailing standoff has tarnished the image of Indian cricket," he said. "The BCCI's image was clean during mine and Shashank's regime. Even at the international arena, Indian cricket was well respected."

Niranjan Shah, a former BCCI secretary, said that it was for the administrators to put the game ahead of selfish interests. "This is the time for all the board members to get united for the sake of Indian cricket. It is time to try and save the face of the BCCI before more damage is done," Shah told ESPNcricinfo.

Another former secretary, who wished to remain anonymous, said regardless of the decision Srinivasan takes, it was important to ensure that the game remained clean. "It is again an opportunity for the BCCI to clean everything," he said. "Everybody knows the wrong things that have happened. They should ensure that nothing like this is repeated. A lot of fans, who are genuine cricket lovers, are suffering. It is the duty of the BCCI to see that steps are taken to ensure wrong things are not repeated."

Srinivasan is believed to be exploring his legal options before the court reconvenes on Thursday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Samar on March 27, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    @Ashik Sali : ICC can scarp the National cricket board leave alone domestic tournaments organised by them, if the domestic(National) cricket board is not acting properly or against ICC rules, laws, code of conducts etc. But for sure ICC cannot intervene BCCI. But the case here might be different and beyond ICC. If ICC had the guts how come there be a "Strategic Time out" in IPL which is not recognized by any ICC rules of T20. Reverse BCCI it will be ICC-B Lol :-)

  • Wahab on March 27, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Well! If you really want to clean this thing up , you need to look at the bigger picture & start cleaning indian cricket from bottom to top or vice versa. Beacuse if the Head of some Organization is involved in something, then credibility of the particular organization is always on stake. It starts losing its faith in people mind. And this is the game of fans, die hearted fans.

  • Magesh on March 27, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    Eventhough IPL is not a brain child of BCCI, it is a flagship of indian cricket right now. Its effect transcends beyond the cricket. now almost every sports in india have a league. IPL made the industry and sponsors to invest in other sports as well. It changed the indian metality to accept sports as professional career. scarping IPL is a huge loss not only for indian cricket, but also for other sports and aspiring youngsters. Ex bcci officials right from Modi to manhoar when in power said IPL go go after vacating the office says IPL No No. It the same indian politics where Exs will never retire and wait for an opportunity to take a dig at the current one. Let BCCI offical play their power games leaving the IPL intact

  • N on March 27, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    People like Shashank Manohar, Lalit Modi etc. were an integral part of the IPL till 2010. There were enough controversies and a mess even at that time, but they never bothered to clean it up when they had a chance to (or maybe they did not want to ?). Now when they are out of the BCCI and IPL, they sit and pontificate about all the wrong doing and take pot shots at Srinivasan. I hold no brief for Srinivasan nor am I interested in his continuance/ non continuance at the helm of affairs, but we are definitely better off without the likes of Manohar and Modi

  • Dummy4 on March 27, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @ No_1_again: ICC has nothing to do with IPL. IPL is a domestic tournament and ICC cannot intervene in domestic affairs.

  • Android on March 27, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    the best ipl to date was the one in South Africa. Have it there again

  • santhosh on March 27, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    @doc.qadeer: its a good question buddy...As a president of the most powerful cricket board he has done good for world cricket by imposing new ideas to gain revenues and help other cricket boards...but as far as Indian fans are concerned he is doing nothing to improve Indian cricket or improve the infrastructures in India even with all that money BCCI his tenure Indian cricket has suffered and it is affecting the team very much, we can very well see the result of it by all the whitewashes India has faced is not because of the lack of talent its because talented people are not given chances....

  • Android on March 27, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    @doc qadir BCCI was rich right from period of Dalmiya...all he has done is that he has let us down on international arena...he is too much stubborn and personally I feel INDIA can offer lot much more to other cricketing nations..other than money.. BCCI will be rich regardless of him...its fans and broadcast rights that make it should be used for grooming cricket. .not for its destruction

  • SIva on March 27, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Does ICC has the same guts as IOC?

  • adarsh on March 27, 2014, 4:02 GMT

    Sashank Manohar is spot on with his advice. BCCI decision making in regards to its management personnel is also very poor. BCCI should have proactively worked with Supreme Court and then the board should have made the decision to fire Srinivasan. They slap life bans on people like Shreesanth (without waiting on the verdict of Delhi High Court) and practice such poor judgement when firing its own management. I believe the board should be changed too for just poor practices in decision making and Governance.

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