Sharad Pawar, the former BCCI president, has criticised the composition of the panel proposed by the board to investigate allegations of corruption in the IPL. Pawar has pointed out the conflict of interest in the inclusion of Ravi Shastri, who is a BCCI-contracted commentator, and also asked that JN Patel, former chief justice of the Calcutta High Court, disclose any links he may have with the BCCI.
At its emergent working committee meeting on Sunday, the BCCI approved the names of RK Raghavan, Patel and Shastri as members of a probe panel, in response to a Supreme Court directive that asked the board to present measures for a free and fair investigation into the IPL. Their names will be submitted to the court on Tuesday.
"Ravi Shastri is a good player," Pawar told PTI. "In fact, when I was BCCI chief [between 2005 and 2008], we signed a contract with him and Sunil Gavaskar. So, he had a financial contract with BCCI. Now, someone says how can a person who has got a financial contract with BCCI, become part of an inquiry committee of the BCCI chief.
"I have no reservations about Shastri's integrity, his honesty. But definitely, anybody can raise the issue. And that is why a sensible person will try to keep away from this (probe panel)."
Pawar said there were suggestions that Patel may be related to a BCCI official and he should hence make a disclosure, if true.
"I don't know him [Patel] personally, but I think it is his duty to disclose if this news [information] is correct," Pawar said.
While stating that he did not have enough information on Srinivasan's current case with the Supreme Court, Pawar also felt that former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi had not "done any harm". Modi was suspended as IPL commissioner in April 2010 on charges of impropriety. In September 2013, the BCCI banned Modi for life, although the ban did not stop him from contesting the Rajasthan Cricket Association elections in December.
N Srinivasan, on the other hand, was asked to step aside by the Supreme Court as it heard a matter between the BCCI and the Cricket Association of Bihar related to the investigation of corrupt practices in the IPL. In its last court hearing on April 16, the Supreme Court turned down Srinivasan's request to be reinstated as board chief and also revealed he is one of the 13 names in the sealed envelope submitted to it by the Justice Mudgal committee and has allegations of corruptions against him.
"I don't think Modi has done any harm," Pawar said. "Unfortunately, about Srinivasan, I haven't got any details. But whatever action has been taken recently was essentially taken by the judiciary.
"It was the Supreme Court which said that 'A' should not be there and that 'B' should be there. There were certain complaints and the judiciary felt that these complaints should be investigated."