Corruption in the IPL May 30, 2013

BCCI treasurer considers resigning


BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke is mulling resigning his post because of the manner in which the board handled the betting charges against the arrested Chennai Super Kings official, Gurunath Meiyappan, who is N Srinivasan's son-in-law, and the spot-fixing charges against the three Rajasthan Royals players. Shirke has held his office since October 1, 2011, the day N Srinivasan became president.

"I will wait and see for the time being. If the board continues to ignore what I consider is primary responsibility, I will find it difficult for myself to be associated with it," Shirke told ESPNcricinfo. "It is an evolving situation, so I will wait and see.

"A few days, maybe within a week, I will make up my mind. If there's going to be more and more room for fingers to be pointed away, I will have to take a call. That doesn't mean I will run away from fulfilling my responsibilities, but and I cannot let my personal reputation and credibility be tarnished. That for me stands above everything else."

While calls for Srinivasan's resignation have been getting louder, he has repeatedly declined to resign. Though the BCCI constituted a three-member commission, which includes two former Tamil Nadu High Court judges, to probe the complaints against Meiyappan, the Super Kings owners India Cements and the Rajasthan Royals owners, Shirke highlighted the deficiency in the board's handling of the matter.

"I am not satisfied. Normally whenever there's a crisis - small, major, any kind of crisis - we call for a (working committee) meeting," Shirke said. "And we have had many such crises - of sponsors pulling out, or of an IPL franchise being disbanded. On every such occasion, the president calls for a meeting, and the issue is discussed in great detail by every member of the working committee. That has been the prevalent way.

"Even when the players were arrested, there was an emergent meeting. Then we had a follow-up meeting in Chennai. Then the president came up to the media and explained all the measures that had been taken. After this, there hasn't been anything on this (Gurunath arrest) issue. If the president calls for a meeting and puts his views across and hears out the other units - you don't necessarily need to change your position - it would follow the proper procedure. Otherwise, the media trial will go on and on.

"I have made my stance very clear on it. If I was Srinivasan and my son-in-law was arrested, I would have stepped aside till the internal probe was over."

Shirke said the BCCI reaction to Meiyappan's arrest had been "more damaging" than the player arrests. "What has been happening is, people who have no knowledge about the functioning of the board have been referring to the board as a sham, a body of hoodlums and goons, which is very unfair. I don't want to name anybody but if such people start talking about the way Indian cricket is administered, then people are bound to be misguided. We know how much of an effort we put into running the board.

"I can vouch for myself and all my colleagues for making it one of the most credible and most professionally-run sporting bodies in the country by a distance. We don't get government grants, we pay huge taxes to the government, we generate foreign exchange of around Rs 350 crore every year and we have not just created top-quality infrastructure all over the country but have also maintained all those assets in top conditions.

"To top it all, the sport that we represent is the only sport where India is consistently among top teams in the world. On such a backdrop, how can you make a general statement like BCCI is nothing but a sham and refer to every member as a hoodlum? If you have a comparative analysis of BCCI and any other top sports federation in India in terms of audited accounts, quality and method of financial statements, number of elected members running the sport by one of the top private auditing firms, you will realise what all good has the BCCI been doing.

"That doesn't mean there are no issues and problems and complexities to be addressed. There are plenty of ways wherein we can improve going into the future and we are striving for that. But anyone coming on camera and slamming the board is very unfair."

The spot-fixing scandal came to light when Delhi Police arrested three Rajasthan Royals cricketers within hours after the Royals' match against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium on May 15. Several bookies and an actor were arrested after that, and Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai Police on May 24.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hari on May 31, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    @SnehalParikh - who is the 'Sir' in your comment? Is it the author of this article or Srinivasan?

  • Priyavrat on May 31, 2013, 6:09 GMT

    N Srinivasan should be stepped down from his own post.It should be replaced by a person who can handle the Indian cricket fairly.

  • Satish Chandar on May 31, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    Well.. I think this is unwarranted.. He can either resign directly if he is as honest as he portrays or take the case to the BCCI committee and work on the further cctions.. After all, he is the treasurer, a prestigious post in the body.. No need for him to come out public and threaten a fake resignation.. This only adds more fuel to the folks who predict it as a "Anti Chennai campaign"..

    Please publish..

  • Dummy4 on May 31, 2013, 5:25 GMT

    Sir! Salute to you. Only people like you who can take a Stand and Call at the right time will keep Indian Flag - BCCI and Cricket flying. V need more & more Honest and Courageous Administrators like you, Sir. Jai Hind!

  • Ashokan on May 31, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    People like Shirke who truly seem to understand the nuances of propriety should be encouraged.

  • Keith on May 31, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Mr Shirke is the best and most honest voice to emerge thus far amongst the top Indian administrators. I admire his desire to see the BCCI in the best light and defend its good quallities. However, like "Cobra0077", I wonder if Shirke's post as Treasurer provides him with more insight into the government's demand for back taxes than he is willing to share -- details at Cricinfo back on 5 Feb: "BCCI hit with massive tax bill" )

    Leaving that matter aside for the moment, I still think highly of Mr Shirke's willingness to court the ire of the biggest of the "Big Men in the Sky Boxes" while clearly outlining what needs to change for him to consider staying. This will very likely do BCCI more good than Mr Shirke. As noted by "Biggus" it is likely that his days at BCCI are now numbered regardless of what he decides in the next week or so. That makes what he has done even more courageous and selfless. Well done, sir!

  • Rob on May 31, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    Sounds like the wrong person would be stepping down - what the game needs is people with this much integrity. Very refreshing to see such honesty & transparency.

  • Sam on May 30, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    What do you think about someone who a. thinks that the world should know that he is THINKING ABOUT resigning while simulataneously calling it a developing situation; b. takes credit for disproportionate success of its national team (disproportionate given the size of the population and cricket's popularity in India) in a sport that is played by very few countries; c. touts the amount of taxes it has paid without acknowledging the fact that the tax issue has remained a sore point until very recently; d. touts the quality of the stadiums while Indian spectators are among the worst treated in the world (see recent mishaps during Ind v Aus Tests); e. touts his organization which has always had transparency problems?

  • Dummy4 on May 30, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    Shirk I bow to u. Well said but pls aact asap. More heads will be tarnished. I am a Srilankan Aussie and have followed world cricket for 50 years I m in a uniue position where my dad played with Nawab of Pataudi snr for Keble College Oxford and my bro for Ceylon vs India captained by his son. After the DRS review system and bullying, I aam not for India Ranjan Rodrigo

  • Robert on May 30, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    This board has always disregarded its responsibilities to anyone but corporate business and their lackeys, politicians. This is no new story.

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