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Dhoni's comments on Gurunath under spotlight

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 28, 2014

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Chennai Super Kings CEO, Gurunath Meiyappan with MS Dhoni and Ben Hilfenhaus, May 12, 2012
Gurunath Meiyappan in conversation with MS Dhoni during the IPL © AFP
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MS Dhoni has found himself in the spotlight in the IPL corruption case against the BCCI, which is being heard by India's Supreme Court. Over the last two days, counsel for both sides raised the issue of Dhoni's responses to the Mudgal probe committee when he was asked about the role in Chennai Super Kings of N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.

BCCI counsel CA Sundaram said Dhoni had been unnecessarily vilified by the opposing counsel. Harish Salve, counsel for the Cricket Association of Bihar, had alleged that Dhoni had indulged in "corrupt conduct" by denying knowledge of Gurunath's role in his IPL franchise.

"I think that comments on Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, that he tried to cover up, were most unfortunate, were reckless and were never ought to have been made," Sundaram said. He also said all that the Mudgal committee had asked Dhoni was whether Gurunath had a role in the cricketing affairs of Chennai Super Kings and added that there was documentary proof to support his statement. He said Dhoni had not used the word 'enthusiast' when speaking to the Mudgal committee.

In the Mudgal report, the only mention of the Dhoni's deposition is as follows: "Mr MS Dhoni, Mr N Srinivasan and officials of India Cements took the stand that Mr Meiyappan had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of Chennai Super Kings and was a mere cricket enthusiast supporting Super Kings." Dhoni's deposition to the Mudgal committee was recorded and transcripts were available to both lawyers. Gurunath's role in CSK is understood to be one of several queries made to Dhoni.

Salve stood by his comments on Tuesday - the day he made the comments - and said, "The submissions being made by BCCI today were unnecessary," and referred to the comments made about Dhoni in the Mudgal panel report. He told television news channel CNN-IBN that Dhoni had been "put in a difficult position" and that he should not have deposed before the committee. "He should have said I don't want to appear before the committee … but I don't know why he volunteered to appear and make this kind of a statement."

According to the IPL's anti-corruption code, which is adopted from a similar code of the ICC, Salve said, "the definition of corruption includes cover-up." If there was an inquiry ordered into a cover-up, Salve said, "he [Dhoni] will have to go and answer what he told the committee and why he told them so." By defending Dhoni, Salve said, the BCCI was "again compromising" its position.

As the BCCI was the disciplinary authority, "if somebody has made a wrong statement before the committee, [the BCCI] should call him and ask him why he said this … and he should justify this to the BCCI by saying, 'I didn't say this or I was misunderstood or confused,' or whatever answer he has to give… under what situation he made that. Instead the BCCI is already defending him."

While Salve said the Supreme Court's interim order was, "an expression of no confidence in Srinivasan," Sundaram denied it was a setback for the BCCI. "How can anything be a setback when this is the offer that the BCCI made? We are extremely clean that nobody should have any manner of doubt. We want the clean-up and this is what Srinivasan told the court also."

The hearing will resume on April 16, with the CAB arguing that the Mudgal committee report was sufficient for Srinivasan's removal. Salve said the Mudgal committee report had proved "conflict of interest in action" in the BCCI.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by crick_wizard on (March 30, 2014, 2:50 GMT)

@prady5688, in my view mishra has always been a very good bowler, but he was constantly sidelined by dhoni all these years..a look at his statistics will show how few matches he has played, inspite of having good stats..now he is 32 years old..hopefully at least now he can realize his potential..

Posted by crick_wizard on (March 30, 2014, 2:46 GMT)

people who commented supporting dhoni need to understand one thing..the purpose of this article is to question why he downplayed gurunath's role In CSK and NOT to allege him for something else..it's an open fact that dhoni testifed that gurunath had no role in CSK which is what is most disappointing..for a man of his stature, what he said is morally and ethically not correct...

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

this won't last for long. . soon people will loose interest in the case & the case will be closed

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Aswin is perfect t20 bowler. The chennai supper kings won lot of matches because of him. he is perfect all rounder. I think, mishra will come to side in the place of jadeja in T20. Jadu is not good t20 bowler.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 7:46 GMT)

I believe INDIA should have PIYUSH CHAWLA in the team for the world cup 2015 in place of ASHWIN as he is as tallented as MISHRA.Both of them will provide variety as ASHWIN has become too predictable.Both of this spinners will give hard time to opposition.

Posted by Inspector_Clouseau on (March 29, 2014, 5:29 GMT)

India needs Dhoni, the captain. If you are a patriot leave him alone and don't drag him in to this.

Posted by   on (March 29, 2014, 5:08 GMT)

@prady5688: I'm really pleased with your comments. Hope time for indian cricket fans come together to bat for our leader MSD. I'm really happy to see some people batting for MSD. Yeah! we believe in Dhoni, we have faith in MSD, and we support Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Posted by prady5688 on (March 29, 2014, 3:31 GMT)

Mishra will be a world class bowler soon.he is getting captain support now. Just wait and keep faith in MSD. Supreme court yesterday told don't drag MSD in this to Haris shalve .Msd needs our support . He is rare village talent. Yesterday some one has commented that he is lucky.he always win the crucial tosses.His batsman comes at form in real time.His fielders always hold crucial catches.and these things were not happening with other like ganguly,sachin,sehwag. Just i wish to tell them it is not luck.it is the hard work and a unbelievable presence of mind.It is the coolness of Msd which bring glory to our nation.Best of luck MSD and team india.@cric info plz publish...

Posted by   on (March 28, 2014, 20:27 GMT)

Hey! please don't involve Dhoni in this issue. Let him to play WT20 without any pressure and agony in his mind and stop defaming Dhoni. He is a class cricketer. He is one of the greatest leader in cricket. He is a rare village talent found in India. India must be luck to have him as a captain.

Posted by Sekhar_S on (March 28, 2014, 17:44 GMT)

I guess Hon'ble Justice Mudgal is the right person to clear the air over what Dhoni actually said rather than Mr. Salve and Mr.Sundaram making up their own interpretations of the statement.

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