Corruption in IPL May 25, 2013

Who is Gurunath Meiyappan?

ESPNcricinfo's brief profile of the Chennai Super Kings official now in police custody

Until two days ago, the impression Gurunath Meiyappan gave was that of one of the few IPL team owners who behaved normally and in a dignified manner. Now he is not the team owner anymore and, it can be surmised given his current location, lacks some of that dignity. After Mumbai Police sent him summons to appear for interrogation for his alleged involvement in illegal cricket betting, his franchise, Chennai Super Kings, was quick to wash its hands off him; he is no longer the team principal nor does he have to do anything with India Cements, the company that owns Super Kings.

This controversy might have brought Gurunath to the national headlines but in Chennai circles he didn't need any extra push. Even before he married Srinivasan's daughter Rupa about 10 years ago, Gurunath was well known as the son of AVM Balasubramanian and grandson of AV Meiyappan, the founder of AVM Productions, arguably the oldest TV and film production house in south India. In Chennai, where the film industry transcends commercial status, that is among the most powerful calling cards. His marriage to Srinivasan's daughter was the coming together of two of the richest families in Chennai.

Known as "prince Gurunath" in Chennai, he is active on the city's golfing circuit - which is where he met Rupa, who is also an avid golfer (as is his father-in-law). Golf plays a large role in his make-up: he has been reported as saying he learnt about possessing strong values while playing golf. "In a day's golf, you can discover much about a man's character -- how he is as a person, and how he would do business. Everything." He has also been an ardent motor-racing fan.

Gurunath has been the owners' representative in the Super Kings dugout. He is seen taking pictures, sharing the trophy, and some of the players have referred to him as "team principal" and at times "boss". He also lifted the paddle at the IPL auctions and has talked on record in detail about the team and his involvement with it, including the auction strategy.

Gurunath is the son of the flashier of the brothers who were heir to Meiyappan's considerable fortune. He is not known to have played an active role in his family business. His promotion to "team principal", which Super Kings now deny, was initially seen as Srinivasan's move to mask his alleged conflict of interest as BCCI president and part-owner of the company that owns Super Kings. After the arrest, though, that debate no longer exists.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ESPN on September 22, 2013, 0:18 GMT

    IPL is a boon to all those excellent players who could not make it to top due to 1000 of reasons from corruption to luck. You ppl will always have something to raise a finger at. IPL is a gift just cos it's been invented in India does not need a reason to cry....

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    The only way to stop match fixings , and bookies is to go for an official bidding.

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    It's a very sad news for IPL-2013. i Don't know how to a match Fixting by a team owner ! Mr. Gurunath you Dont know lot of fans shame on you.

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Cricket would be better off without the most problematic IPL.IPL is easily meant to be the commercialization of Cricket.It was,since its inception,predicted that the IPL would create a big blunder to the world cricket .....

  • Thilanka on May 26, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Eazy Cash !!! Indian Police should Investigate all IPL players , including Dhoni , all srilankan players ( not played well in the tournament) , all umpires, malinga who ball unbelievable wide , brad hoge who drop sitter in semis & RR players ground fielding !!

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    He is already so well off, why spoil everyone's fun to make more money?

  • Srini on May 26, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    There must surely be far bigger sharks and whales in the murky waters out there than the small fish that Mr. Gurunath is. If he has an iota of repetency in him, he should completely help with the investigations, provide more than what is being asked and ensure that he does his part to clean the muck out of the game - Why he got in, who co-erced him, who else is part, where does the money come from and where does it go etc... I do feel sorry for him as he seemed to be one of the smarter and dignified Team-Owners out there.

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    He went on betting. Many affluent sections go on betting. betting on horses; betting at Casino. He has not fixed spot or Match. I do not find any big evil or crime committed by him. Media is just crying for nothing. One Thing I would say is that he could have stayed away from this act for a single reason that he is directly or indirectly connected with the CSK, one of the teams participating in the League that too with flying colors. It is time that Government should do something serious with the Fixing of Match, Overs, Wickets, or Balls (like No Balls and the like). Let us get into the root and solve the issues. Give IPL with true Cricket Color and Flavour.

  • Garry on May 26, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    "In a day's golf, you can discover much about a man's character -- how he is as a person, and how he would do business. Everything."

    So I take it he isn't a very fair golf player.

  • vr on May 26, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    We often come across items in news papers about the involvement of the children from affluent sections resorting to crimes like chain-snatching either just for fun or to meet their concealed expenditures.How else can we explain the alleged involvement of Gurunath who has come from such an affluent background, in this kind of murky business.only an impartial investigation and stringent action against all the culprits can serve as a deterrent to others entertaining similar thoughts.

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