BCCI suspends Gurunath pending investigations
Gurunath Meiyappan, the top Chennai Super Kings official who was arrested by Mumbai Police on Friday night, has been suspended by the BCCI "from any involvement in the sport of cricket and in particular from any involvement with the Chennai Super Kings team" pending further investigations.
In a release issued on Sunday morning, the Indian board said: "The BCCI has taken note of the detention by Mumbai Police of Gurunath Meiyappan, who is a member of the team management of Chennai Super Kings. As an accredited team official, Mr Meiyappan is subject to the provisions of the IPL operational rules and the BCCI anti-corruption code for participants. Pending further investigations and any subsequent hearing by the BCCI disciplinary committee or the IPL code of behaviour committee, Mr Meiyappan has been suspended by the BCCI."
Public prosecutor Wajid Sheikh, meanwhile, confirmed to news channel NDTV that "the evidence" against Gurunath till now only pointed to betting offences. "We have evidence of betting only at this stage. Only betting," Sheikh said. "We want to investigate him for fixing also. Till today there is no proof, that which match, which player is fixed."
Gurunath's family lawyer, PS Raman, said the charges against him were ambiguous and insignificant. "They [Mumbai Police] are yet to find out what he has done, so they have taken him in police remand. Now they say not spot-fixing or match-fixing, but betting," Raman was quoted as saying in Hindustan Times. "This is such a case that anyone can plead guilty and walk out by paying a fine of Rs 200.
"It is such a small offense for which Meiyappan would not run away. The quantum of betting is irrelevant. Just because Meiyappan's number was found in the phone does not mean that he is guilty. He has known Vindoo Randhawa for the past three years or so and was introduced to celebrities by the film actor."
Meanwhile, the BCCI confirmed that its president - who is also managing director of Super Kings' owner, India Cements, and father-in-law of Gurunath - will address the press at 4pm on Sunday.
The three Rajasthan Royals players, Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, who were arrested on May 16 for alleged spot-fixing, will be produced in a Delhi court today as the stipulated period of their police custody runs out.