Rajiv Shukla has resigned as IPL chairman, following the scandal over alleged corruption in the league. His decision to stand down comes less than 24 hours after the resignations of two top BCCI officials, secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke, and on the eve of a crucial BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai, where the future of N Srinivasan as board president is expected to be decided.
On Saturday evening, Shukla told PTI: "I have decided to quit as IPL chairman. It is a decision that I was pondering over for some time. I think it is time to step down. Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke resigned in the best interest of Indian cricket. I thought this is the right time."
Shirke, responding to news of Shukla's resignation, said the challenge now lay in how to move forward. "It is his decision. He's in the eye of the storm, he must have realised the gravity of what he felt," Shirke told Times Now. "It is never too late, the question is what are the steps being taken from now on to restore the faith and restore transparency. No one is able to pinpoint the faults and what steps should be taken."
Shukla took over as IPL chairman at the BCCI's Annual General Meeting in September 2011, from Chirayu Amin. The tenure is for a year, but can be extended at the board's AGM. Shukla, who was reappointed as chairman in 2012, had gone on record saying he would not extend his term at this September's AGM.
IPL 2013 has been plunged into controversy over the past two weeks, following the arrests of three Rajasthan Royals players for alleged spot-fixing, and Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan - the the son-in-law of board president N Srinivasan, who is also the managing director of Super Kings' owner, India Cements - for alleged betting.
Apart from Shukla, the IPL's governing council comprises Arun Jaitley (Delhi District Cricket Association), Anirudh Chaudhary (Haryana Cricket Association), Amitabh Chaudhary (Jharkhand CA), Sanjay Patel (Baroda CA), Ganga Raju (Andhra CA), MP Pandove (Punjab CA), and former India Test cricketer and current television commentator Ravi Shastri.
Meanwhile Jagdale, who resigned as BCCI secretary on Friday, said a "massive clean-up job" is necessary following the controversies. "The spot-fixing and betting scandal has badly dented the image of cricket. A massive clean-up job is required to overcome this," he said. "But this will take time as the damage done is very big.
"It is very difficult to stop fixing in cricket and BCCI has its own limitations, but the the board can strengthen its surveillance and curb the menace of fixing. At the same time, the BCCI will have to take strict action against cricketers who are found guilty. To earn the faith of fans, the BCCI administrators will have to show determination and work as a unit."
Whether Srinivasan, under mounting pressure, will step aside as board president - at least temporarily, until the inquiry into Gurunath, India Cements and Rajasthan Royals' owners is complete - is likely to be answered on Sunday, following the BCCI's emergency meeting. Jagdale said he would not consider returning to the BCCI even if Srinivasan resigned: "I am not even looking at the possibility of coming back into the BCCI's fold. I think I am done with my innings."