Corruption in the IPL May 26, 2013

Srinivasan promises fair investigation

ESPNcricinfo staff

BCCI president N Srinivasan has promised a fair investigation by a three-member commission, which will include a person independent of the board, into the charges against Gurunath Meiyappan, the CSK official and Srinivasan's son-in-law who has been arrested, and the three Rajasthan Royals players allegedly involved in spot-fixing. Srinivasan said he would not be part of the commission and would not be part of its appointment or work.

Srinivasan said the commission would comprise an independent member and two of the following people: IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, BCCI vice-president Arun Jaitley, BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke, board secretary Sanjay Jagdale, and former India captain and commentator Ravi Shastri. This commission, Srinivasan said, would be responsible for investigating and deciding whether Gurunath was an owner of the Super Kings franchise.

Gurunath had been part of the Super Kings table at IPL auctions, at team owners meetings with other franchises, present near the team dug-out and at post-match presentation ceremonies. His Twitter account bio said he was the "team principal" and several articles on the franchise website referred to him as "owner," as did his IPL accreditation. However, when Srinivasan was confronted by this question, his answer was evasive and ambiguous.

"We have appointed a commission and in my statement I said the commission will determine this aspect also, and he [Gurunath] has been travelling with the team, he's been enthusiastic, fine," Srinivasan said. "What his role was, whether it transcended any rule … I have already read in a statement saying that the commission that is appointed will also deal with it. So I don't want to say anything because there is an inquiry commission that will go into it. I am not going to sit and explain to you what his role was. India Cements, I understand, has already issued a statement on what his role was and what his role was not … So I don't think it is necessary for me to go further on this."

When questioned again on Gurunath's involvement with the Super Kings, Srinivasan said: "He [Gurunath] did not have any role at all. In fact, he never visited the office of the CSK. But he would go, he was enthusiastic. Let the commission find out. You asked me a question, I gave you a reply."

Given that two of the three members of the commission are going to be people with close links to the BCCI, Srinivasan was then asked about its ability to act objectively. His response was indignant. "You cannot presume that people in the board cannot act fairly or properly," he said. "That is the implication of your query, which I do not agree with. I am not going to be involved but there will be an independent person so it's not like the board only will be involved, there will be an independent person."

Persons who have been suspended by the BCCI, known defaulters, fugitives from the Indian justice system and other vested interests keen to discredit me and the BCCI, have indulged in a smear campaign in the last few days. The unfair attack has been relentless.
N Srinivasan

Srinivasan was speaking in Kolkata, four hours before the start of the IPL final. He began addressing a packed room of reporters by saying the last few days had been difficult for him as a father and father-in-law, but said his actions would be nothing but professional.

"I sit here as president of the BCCI and put aside all personal feelings. I can assure you that I will not shirk from my duty however difficult it may be," Srinivasan said. "The BCCI will act without fear or favour to investigate, and if the circumstances warrant, punish any player, match official, team management or franchise that have breached BCCI or IPL regulations.

"The disciplinary procedure under the operational rules shall be initiated and a commission, including at least one member who is entirely independent of the BCCI, will be formed to adjudicate whether Mr Gurunath is in breach of operational rules … the management of the other franchise Rajasthan Royals will also be subject to the same procedure.

"I am not part of this commission. I will not play any role in its appointment, deliberations or decisions. There has been a lot of media comment on clause 11.3 of the franchise agreement and whether Mr. Gurunath is an owner of the franchise. It is for this commission to look into this. The BCCI is very concerned by the allegations that have been made against the IPL, whether those relate to betting or spot fixing. As I have said on a number of occasions, the BCCI will act swiftly and sternly if the allegations are proven."

Srinivasan went on to stress on the principles of natural justice, that people are innocent until proven guilty, and accused the media of overstepping boundaries in their reporting of the issue. "Persons who have been suspended by the BCCI, known defaulters, fugitives from the Indian justice system and other vested interests keen to discredit me and the BCCI, have indulged in a smear campaign in the last few days. The unfair attack has been relentless. The TV news channels have been carrying unverifiable statements devoid of truth.

"An illustration of this type of news would be that there is going to be a divorce within the BCCI. I wish to ensure the cricketing world that this is completely untrue and that there is unity in the BCCI. I have not been asked by anybody to resign. To the contrary, my support is complete, and I refuse to yield to unfair and motivated attacks. I intend to continue my duties as president of the BCCI. It was trial by media for me, you know. If you saw the newspapers, TV channels the only thing they were discussing was my resignation."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jo on May 31, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    I support his stance. Let the mey sayer prove that he in anyway blocking/interrupting the investigation proceedings. If thats happens, he is bound to resign and I assure he will. The highly torturous to be in, is bearing a role of fairness, when everybody doubts. But you know what, it takes a lots and lots of courage and self belief and conciousness to self investigate and make sure there was no ignorance on any little information that came across is not given attention. If a person is not only fully clean by his belief and self discipline, but also his bad wishers dont have any string of any sort to find him guilty on any petty issue. I admire his courage to take this pressure and believe in himself for his honesty and integrity that he exhibitied in his duties of issue. You cannot sue because a person is rich. You have to take action only when a person commit unlawful act. He did not so far... so, he can stay as long as he is innocent.

  • John on May 27, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Common Media - you are being unfair to a man whose family has betrayed him , his enemies are witch hunting him for supposed reasons of public good but nevertheless were criminals and defaulters themselves and he is held responsible for the evils in this game before he inherited the job. If you really want to clean Cricket , go underworld - probably you dont dare. Hence you are targeting a soft and easy person - your cricket board president....pathetic. Stop this nonsense.

  • Hari on May 27, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    @Rockers11.1 - could you please give me the height, weight, waist size, complexion and phone number of the person one has to talk to in India Cements on ownership of CSK?

    You need to read a book called "Corporate Laws" before you post your ridiculous views and show your ignorance

  • Rita on May 27, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    The solution is turn these franchises into clubs. How many franchises are disappearing? Kochi, Deccan, Pune, and Kings XI and RR were nearly but court saved them. IPL is run childishly.

    If franchises became clubs, then it will be like EPL or NBA. The team will become property of team owners and they will have a lot to lose and will be extra careful. They will never dare bet. Who agrees with me?

  • Rajkumar on May 27, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    I do not understand why he should resign? If Mumbai police prove the charge against him, Can BCCI decline it? No. So No point arguing about a fair trial.

    And regarding whether he is Team owner or not, India cements is the owner, he is not. Terminating CSK from IPL is a joke, who will watch the league then?

    And to all your knowledge, the allegation against Gurunath is betting not spot fixing. I do not see a news about sreesanth after Gurunath's name popped up. Fixing vs Betting No match at all. Betting should be legalised in INDIA.

  • Rakesh on May 27, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    @ Nmiduna - Fans would be glad because this is a chance to uproot Srini and his politics. I am a die hard fan and yes I am glad for the above reason.

  • Rakesh on May 27, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @ Kshitijmehta - Very well put. That is how things are done in our country unfortunately. I am sure everyone will walk free even gurunath. Srinivasan has been spoiling indian cricket for long now. What by persisting with players from his beloved home even after mediocre performances. BCCI should be run by people who love the sport not by politicians. Dravid, Kumble, Kapil, Sachin et al should be given responsibility of running cricket in the country. When we involve politicians we are inviting corrupt practices which come by default with them.

  • Rakesh on May 27, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    He should have resigned. That would have been fair. But no. he sticks to his post. Whatever he says there can not be a true inquiry with him at the top. Even if he is not part of the Committee. Double standards applied here. CSK should be dissolved or sold to another franchise. @ GoodSportCatalyst - have you heard about Conflict of Interest? @ D-Ascendant - he deserves much more than tht.

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    It is a hit on our face of the cricket lovers like me in our country. First of all the politicians , actors and the business magnets shall not be allowed to enter in to the game like this .They always donot care for the fans and the followers instead they are particular in making fame,money laundering and destroy the dignity of the sports.. It is shamefull to watch the things happening to cricket.. All who are indulged in the corruption shall be forefitted with the amassing wealth they have and put behind bars for ever..But in our country, we are used to take any kind of corruption, scandals very casually. So nothing good will come out after the investigation process. It is yet another scam.....

  • Kshitij on May 27, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    No point expecting a fair investigation or anything of that sort, especially when the "committee" has two people from the BCCi itself and the third a correspondent for the BCCI who is paid to propagate the body's "good" work on air. All the smoke that has risen will be forgotten, with some scapegoats imprisoned and everything hunky dory within a week. Welcome to India!!

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