Corruption in IPL May 29, 2013

Srinivasan told to 'stay away' from inquiry

ESPNcricinfo staff

N Srinivasan's position as BCCI president, so solid all through the spot-fixing crisis and the arrest of his son-in-law on betting charges, appeared to wobble on Wednesday as the senior politicians on the board began speaking out on the issue. The most significant comment came from IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla after meeting with BCCI vice-president and disciplinary committee member Arun Jaitley: Srinivasan, they had decided, must "stay away" from the inquiry commission set up by the BCCI to look into the fixing and betting issues.

Responding shortly after, Srinivasan said Shukla's statement reiterated his own stand. "He has very clearly clarified that what he says is that the commission has been appointed and I should dissociate myself from the procedure as stated. He has reiterated what I stated in the press conference in Kolkata...that I have nothing to do with the committee."

Shukla did not clarify what he meant by "stay away," but he did say they did not specifically mean that Srinivasan must stand down from his position. "He is an elected president and he says he has done nothing. That is his view," Shukla said. "We would want that he stay away during the investigation procedure and have suggested to him that he do so. The image of the BCCI and of Indian cricket has been very badly affected by these events."

Shukla's statement, which he repeated almost verbatim a couple of hours later, also said that the decisions of the three-man commission must be directly implemented, and not presented before the general body of the BCCI. It was important the investigation was "independent and that the persons responsible, no matter how they big they may be, are severely punished."

The inquiry commission had originally meant to comprise two BCCI officials and an independent member, but Shukla said it had been altered to assert its independence by including two judges and a single member from the board, in this case its secretary Sanjay Jagdale.

The commission's remit was widened to look into India Cements, the owners of Chennai Super Kings, apart from Gurunath Meiyappan, the Super Kings official arrested on charges of betting, and Jaipur IPL Pvt Ltd, the owners of Rajasthan Royals, three of whose players - Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - were arrested on allegations of spot-fixing.

The growing political pressure was also signalled by India's sports ministry, which issued a statement calling for Srinivasan's resignation. "The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has observed with considerable disquiet, the reports about match & spot fixing in cricket," the statement read. "BCCI is inquiring into allegations of match and spot fixing. As there is a conflict of interest in this inquiry, therefore BCCI President should tender his resignation on moral grounds, pending the outcome of the inquiry."

Adding to the voices was former BCCI and ICC president Sharad Pawar, also a minister in the federal government, who backed another past president Shashank Manohar's call for all IPL 2013 matches to be investigated by an external agency.

"The entire issue should be referred to the home ministry and it should investigate all IPL matches," Pawar said. "Shashank Manohar's suggestion is correct. There should be a detailed investigation, not just one game, [but] all games should be looked at."

Pawar also said such a crisis "never happened" when he was in charge of the BCCI. He felt it was up to Srinivasan to decide whether he should resign, but when asked if he would have stepped down if he had been in Srinivasan's position, he said, "If I had been there I would not have allowed these type of things."

Pawar was the board president, and Srinivasan the treasurer, when the BCCI had allowed India Cements, controlled by Srinivasan and his family, to bid for an IPL franchise in 2008. In the board's opinion at that time, it did not amount to a conflict of interest but Pawar advised caution in the future.

"In 2008, we had taken legal opinion and we got a considered view that there is no conflict," Pawar said. "In that situation, when we discussed it in the office bearers' meeting, it was cleared. But henceforth, we have to be very careful."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Keith on June 2, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Mr Srinivasan in his recent press conf made clear the role of India Cements (InC) in the cricket of Tamil Nadu. I am sure this has been important for the provincial cricket, and it has obtained the desired community service benefits for InC as well. Are the public and its representatives in gov't & law enforcement now being asked to treat this as some sort of "line of credit" on which InC and its officials such as Mr S can draw down whenever they commit infractions, deliberate or inadvertent? If so, I politely but very firmly decline to participate in such an arrangement. My decision to seek and support good governance of the cricket is not for sale, and I cannot be bought. I sincerely hope this is true for all the key leadership figures in the cricket, although the presence of so many active businessmen amongst the current administrators causes me to worry this is not very likely at all.

  • sushim on May 30, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    BCCI should be govern by the ex cricketers not the politician or businessmans. Cricket is gentleman's game and both the above criteria are above that norm. Today it is srinivasan, last time was Lalit modi and tommorrow may be someone else.The real solutuon is with public BOYCOTT all games played in India . do not buy tickets, watch the games on TV and let them know they are just caretaker and we are the payers.

  • venkat on May 30, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    @save_indian_cricket, an existence of conflict of interest is not against the law here. BCCI changed their rules to allow for a BCCI official to also own an IPL team (perhaps indirectly via a corporation). That Srinivasan knows about the workings of the team and of the BCCI is therefore neither a surprise nor evidence of any rule violations. Of course, this is a crazy rule change -- and BCCI should follow protocols in most places that prevent the occurrence of such conflicts of interests -- both in terms of team ownership and in terms of a person being in power influencing an inquiry concerning his son-in-law.

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    I am from Tirunelveli where one of the main factories of the India Cements is located. I'm so pleased to bear testimony to the wonderful service the India Cements has done to cricket in the southern district of Tamilnadu over the past 40 plus years. Be it enabling the aspiring cricketers with coaching expertise or providing a very good turf wicket or giving them exposure to the Chennai City League, Mr. Srinivasan's company has done a commendable job. The cricket loving Indian public therefor should not consider Mr. Srinivasan as a criminal. After all, he is one of the very few non-politicians in the BCCI. We must let law take its own course in the case of his son-in-law and the issue of conflict of interest.

  • Rajesh on May 30, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    People who think Srinivasan should not resign since he did nothing wrong are missing the point. Srinivasan is not a mere individual contributor within BCCI, but is is the HEAD of the most powerful cricket body in the world. So even if he did nothing wrong (we don't have evidence of that either way, so lets keep it that way), the fact that so much scandal has erupted, not just caused by the players but also by the franchises and umpires, the financial irregularities over the past two years which are being probed by the irregularities within the franchises..these are enough grounds for the head of an organization to step down...when we add to it the massive conflict of interest that exists, which would severely affect the probe, (though he claims that he would not interfere), I don't see any reason why he should not step down...

  • vas on May 30, 2013, 5:31 GMT

    Isn't police investigating meiyappan? Why do you need a second investigation? Is it because BCCI has to do it's own investigation?

  • Nagendra on May 30, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Its a shame to see this kind of thing happening. We are just left twiddling our thumbs and watching this dirty mess unfold every day. What a shame non scan do anything about it. All the greats of the game are silent. I wonder why can't they fight for the game that has given them everything.

  • Nik on May 30, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    All three person on Commission are from Tamilnadu State: same state where India Cement is king of cement business, same state where Mayappan's AVM production is king in movie business. So all three persons are well connected or influenced in some manner by these two state's top business leaders. This Is UNFAIR

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    Clearly clarified?!? Good English!!

  • M on May 29, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    What a farce. Srinivasan already has his people on the commision. Two of the judges are are from Tamil nadu and the third is from BCCI. The government should dissolve this commission as invalid and create a new independent commission.

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