Verma seeks Gavaskar's clarification on Srinivasan
Aditya Verma, the petitioner in the ongoing case in the Supreme Court regarding alleged corruption in the IPL, has written to Sunil Gavaskar, the interim BCCI president (IPL matters), asking for clarification of reports that N Srinivasan was in Ranchi on May 13 at the time of Chennai Super Kings' IPL match against Rajasthan Royals in that city.
Srinivasan has been stood down from his position as BCCI president by the Supreme Court and directed to stay away from board and IPL matters until such time that a suitable probe is conducted into the alleged corruption in the league. The court's directions came while it was hearing a petition filed by Verma, secretary of the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar.
In an email written to Gavaskar, Verma has claimed that Srinivasan was in Ranchi and stayed in the same hotel as the Super Kings team. "This is a serious issue, and I want to know whether you are aware of that meeting," Verma has asked Gavaskar. "If you don't know have you taken action against the involved persons?"
It could not be independently verified if Srinivasan was indeed at the hotel. Srinivasan and BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel did not respond to text messages from ESPNcricinfo.
Verma maintains such a visit, if indeed it took place, would be a violation of the court's orders. Even a social visit, or one in his personal capacity, Verma said, would be problematic. "Why does it have to coincide with CSK's match? And shouldn't he then stay away from the team, and not on the same floor of the same hotel as the team?"
Verma has also raised concerns about a recent interview of IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal. On May 3, the New Indian Express quoted Biswal as saying: "Look, Srinivasan has stepped aside, honouring the instruction of the Supreme Court. But overall, he is the president of BCCI. I have to be in touch with him for other aspects. But touch wood, Srinivasan is not interfering at all in any IPL matters."
"It is a violation of the order of the highest court of the country," Verma said in the email written to Gavaskar.
Verma had filed a petition in the Bombay High Court last July questioning the legality of a two-member panel appointed by the BCCI to investigate the allegations against Gurunath Meiyappan, Srinivasan's son-in-law, Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals and one of its co-owners Raj Kundra. The matter is now with the Supreme Court, which will, over the next few weeks, issue an order on the formation of a new panel to look into IPL corruption with revised terms of reference and greater investigative powers.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo