BCCI to discuss spot-fixing issue on Sunday
A day after suspending three Rajasthan Royals cricketers who were arrested for their alleged involvement in spot-fixing during the IPL, the BCCI has convened an emergency meeting of its working committee, the panel responsible for its functioning, in Chennai on Sunday.
"The Working Committee will discuss, among other things, the fallout of the spot-fixing controversy in the ongoing IPL, in which three players have been arrested by the Delhi Police," BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale said in a statement issued on Friday. Jagdale also confirmed the arrest and suspension of Amit Singh, the Gujarat and former Rajasthan Royals cricketer who was caught in the spot-fixing scandal as a bookie.
Despite the Delhi Police interrogating all the four cricketers that have been arrested so far, there is a growing feeling among the BCCI members that all the players should be "banned for life" even before the investigations are over. "These players have tarnished the image of the game so much that it would take a long time for us to restore it," a member told ESPNcricinfo, preferring anonymity. "It would be prudent to act swiftly and not lose the BCCI's and Indian cricket's credibility any further."
However, the BCCI president N Srinivasan is likely to play it safe and constitute an internal inquiry panel that will work with BCCI's disciplinary committee.
IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, addressing the media for the first time since the controversy erupted, stated that the board would take action against players found guilty of spot-fixing. "We will be taking some important decisions [at the working committee meeting]. The strongest possible action will be taken against the guilty. Whoever is found to be involved in spot-fixing will not be spared," Shukla said.
Shukla also revealed that BCCI's anti-corruption and security unit (ACSU), headed by Ravi Sawani, has been asked to investigate the matter and submit its report. "If we have Sawani's preliminary report by Sunday, we will go through it and discuss it," Shukla said. It has also been learned that Srinivasan has also asked the ACSU to be represented at the meeting.
Rajasthan Royals on Friday announced that they had begun their own investigations into the matter.
While Srinivasan had started consultations with his colleagues for the Chennai meeting, the city also had a lot of action on the spot-fixing front since Thursday night. The Tamil Nadu police took a cue from their Delhi counterparts and conducted several raids on bookies, arresting six of them, besides seizing numerous gadgets and Rs 40 lakh (US$73,000) in cash.
However, the Chennai Police clarified in a media briefing that their raids had revealed only "betting" syndicates and hadn't established links between the bookies and IPL players.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo