IPL fixing allegations May 18, 2013

BCCI could press charges against tainted trio - Srinivasan

ESPNcricinfo staff

N Srinivasan, the BCCI president, has said that "no punishment is too little" for the cricketers involved in the spot-fixing scandal. If Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan are proven guilty, the board will press legal charges if allowed, Srinivasan told Indian news channel CNN-IBN. Asked if deterrent steps like sending culprits to jail were necessary, Srinivasan said he had "no hesitation in saying yes".

Srinivasan said it was not the IPL that had let its fans down. Instead, he said, it was "these dirty cricketers". He stressed that the IPL was not corrupt as a whole.

"See, IPL has not let down the people," Srinivasan said. "It is these dirty cricketers that have done it. These people who have indulged in these kinds of activities. They are the ones. We feel bad.

"I don't have to personally apologise. So long as people know I condemn it. That I don't want it. That I resent the fact that I have to sit here and answer this. We are honest people."

Srinivasan staunchly defended the IPL. "For the last two days everybody has asked me the same question," he said. "'IPL is damaged. IPL's credibility is gone. IPL is untenable.' It is the biggest tournament in the world. We should be proud of it."

In response to the suggestion that people are not going to question every bit of unexpected play on the field in the IPL, Srinivasan said it was an unfair assessment. "The point I am making is, everybody is berating the IPL, saying IPL is finished," he said. "All I am saying is, I acknowledge the fact that three crickets have done this.

"Naturally it will have some impact. What impact, how much it is, here your view is different than mine.

"Not only does it worry me... The fact is, I have to sit here and listen to people saying IPL is fixed. IPL as a whole is not. Just three people have done something wrong. It doesn't mean the whole IPL is bad. Which is what you are trying to make it out to be."

Srinivasan's focus on just the three cricketers was in contrast with his earlier statements about natural justice taking its course. "Everybody has seen there was some evidence shown on TV," he had said. "Police have made their statements. All I am saying is, in this country you have to be assumed innocent until guilty. That still stands.

"The BCCI will issue them with show-cause notices. There will be an inquiry. I can't have a pre-judged mind on all of this. At the same time we concede this has shocked all of us. I never expected a player of the calibre of Sreeesanth, who has played Tests for india, and other Ranji Trophy players, to be accused of this."

When pointed to the ICC's anti-corruption's reported warnings of increased fixing threats to the IPL, Srinivasan turned the focus to the ACSU. "Excuse me?" Srinivasan said. "ICC is in charge of this. ICC's ACSU is the one that is appointed to monitor and to take steps to prevent this. Excuse me, sir?"

Srinivasan was then pointedly told about certain measures the ACSU had reportedly suggested. "Whatever has been specifically requested would 100% have been dealt with by the BCCI," Srinivasan said. "In any case we are going to have a discussion with the anti-corruption unit of the ICC on what has happened now, and what steps they took, and what is it that could have been done which could have been done.

"We are not going to keep quiet. I want to make one thing very clear. If there is a fault, if something has been overlooked, we won't cover it up. I have nothing personal to gain from this."

The BCCI's working committee will meet on Sunday, May 19, to discuss the events and the future plan of action. The Indian anti-corruption unit is expected to be present too.