BCCI calls another meeting following betting charges on Kundra

BCCI calls another meeting following betting charges on Kundra

With betting charges against Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra giving a new twist to the IPL scandal, a rattled BCCI was today forced to convene yet another Emergent Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on Monday to take stock of the crisis which has grown with each passing day.

Hours after it came to light that Kundra has allegedly confessed to betting in the IPL matches during his 11-hour interrogation by the Delhi Police, the BCCI said the issue would come up for discussion in the Working Committee meeting and strict action will be considered if required.

"Raj Kundra issue will be discussed in the Working Committee, which is going to be held on June 10 and after we hear the details, if it demands any strict action, we will look into it," BCCI's Working Group chief Jagmohan Dalmiya told a press conference here.

The raging IPL scandal has shown no signs of subsiding with more embarrassing details tumbling out every passing day with Kundra's confession being the latest.

In the brief press conference, Dalmiya also made a few announcements regarding the vacant positions in the Board and about the constitution of the inquiry Commission.

The veteran administrator said that Baroda Cricket Association's Sanjay Patel will be the new BCCI Secretary while the post of the treasurer will be announced later.

He also said that no BCCI member will be part of the inquiry Commission and the two retired High Court judges T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramaniam will form the two-member commission to probe allegations against BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and CSK.

Both justices Chouta and Balasubramaniam were members of the original panel, which also had BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale as the third member.

The Committee had to be re-constituted following Jagdale's resignation. Dalmiya was given the responsibility to choose the third member.

"I have decided that let there be a two-man commission. We pose full faith in the two retired judges and leave the matter to them. These two judges will carry on the probe," Dalmiya said.

Dalmiya said there would be no time frame for the Commission to submit the report to the BCCI since, "we want total justice and will go deep into it. We will not curtail inquiry."

Asked about Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's alleged conflict of interest issues, Dalmiya said the BCCI will not cover up the matter but will wait for the ongoing Champions Trophy to be completed.

"As far as Dhoni issue is concerned, you all have seen it in the papers and so have I. Let it come out... At this juncture, when we are in the midst of the Champions Trophy, we are not going to earn anything by disturbing the atmosphere. But at the same time, we are not going to cover it up. Please wait and see," he assured.

On whether Rajasthan Royals could face termination since one of the owners had brought the league into disrepute, he said the Board will wait till they have enough evidence to take steps.

"How you come to a decision unless you look into it. How can we come to a conclusion. At this juncture, it has just started. We are just going ahead. You will have to wait," he said.
On whether Raj Kundra's wife Shilpa Shetty was also under the scanner, he said, "only Raj Kundra's name has come up so far."

Dalmiya said the BCCI has received an interim report from its Anti-Corruption and Security unit chief Ravi Sawani but nothing concrete can be said on the issue.
"Interim report has been submitted to BCCI (Mumbai). Information has been sought from the Delhi and the Mumbai police. They have not provided anything yet. Once we receive it, we will share it with you."

On why Ratnakar Shetty and other BCCI officials were called to Kolkata for meetings, Dalmiya said, "There were many other officers with whom I have to work. I have summoned them from Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. I've to interact. I've to gather the details and share."

On whether the BCCI would think of discontinuing IPL in the wake of the scandals, Dalmiya said," There should not be any kind of thoughts that it would be shelved."
Dalmiya said they can look into the issue of legalising betting only after all the inquiries are complete."

meanwhile, former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale expressed shock over Kundra's admission to betting in IPL matches, saying it further shakes faith of the fans in the sport.

"It (Betting) is morally wrong since you're owning a team. Such things are not good for cricket and not good for IPL. It's another instance of damaging the faith, Indian cricket lovers have in the sport. Really shocking," said Jagdale.

Asked if Royals should be suspended if charges of betting against Kundra is proved, Jagdale said the decision lies with the IPL authorities.

"I can't comment on the legalities. It's is upto the Governing Council and Executive Committee (to decide on the fate of RR)," he said.

Former BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele said it was "stupid" of Raj Kundra to indulge in betting inspite of being a rich businessman.

"Till the time India doesn't legalise betting, it is an offence. I am not very happy because what is happening is not cricket. Raj Kundra, who runs the Rajasthan Royals, and has such a lot of money, where is the need for him to indulge in betting. It is stupidity on part of Raj Kundra. I feel pity for him," Lele said.

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