BCCI suspends Kundra, launches clean-up drive for IPL

BCCI suspends Kundra, launches clean-up drive for IPL

Stung by the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandals, the BCCI today cracked the whip by suspending Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra on charges of gambling and unveiled a 12-point 'Operation Clean-up' in a bid to restore the Twenty20 League's credibility.

The BCCI's all-powerful working committee, which gathered for an emergency meeting here, discussed the raging scandal and took the decision to suspend Kundra pending an inquiry.

Kundra thus becomes the second team owner, after N Srinivasan's son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan, to be suspended from cricketing activities.

The Board also decided that the two-member panel -- comprising Justice T Jayaram Chouta and Justice R Balasubramanian -- which is currently investigating Meiyappan and CSK would also probe Kundra and the Rajasthan Royals.

"The Working Committee today decided to suspend Raj Kundra on allegations of gambling on IPL VI matches till the pendency of inquiry," BCCI's interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya told reporters after the meeting.

"Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had grilled Kundra for 11 hours and he had admitted to gambling in IPL matches and also IPL CEO Sundar Raman has got a complaint from a closed source. I will not reveal the name of the source," he said.

"Obviously, Rajasthan Royals' role in the whole issue is being looked into but without getting hold of the facts, we don't want to frighten anybody," he added when asked why Rajasthan Royals have not been suspended from the IPL.

Dalmiya was forced to call the meeting after the Delhi Police claimed that Kundra, a minority (11.7 per cent) shareholder in Rajasthan Royals, had confessed to betting during the IPL matches.

If the charges are proved, Rajasthan Royals face the prospect of being terminated from the IPL and to avoid this fate, the franchise has already distanced itself from Kundra.

Among other decisions, the working committee ratified the name of Sanjay Patel as the Secretary and also elected Mumbai Cricket Association President Ravi Sawant as the Treasurer, a post left vacant by Ajay Shirke in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal.

BCCI's Anti Corruption and Security Unit chief Ravi Sawani also tabled his report on the three tainted cricketers -- Test pacer S Sreesanth, Ashok Chandila and Ankeet Chavan -- who have been arrested for alleged spot-fixing. The working committee decided to forward the report to the Board's disciplinary committee.

The Committee has decided to issue chargesheets to the concerned players. The panel will be without N Srinivasan, who stepped aside as Board President after Meiyappan's arrest. Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah are the other two members of the panel.

"The sealed report of Sawani was not opened at the meeting as the committee found it prudent to hand it over to the disciplinary committee," a BCCI official said.

"As is the process of natural justice, the players, once they are out of judicial custody, will be summoned for presenting their side of the story before the final verdict is pronounced," he added.

The Board members discussed at length on how to restore the credibility of the game and drew up an action plan called 'Operation Clean-up' which envisages a series of measures to curb corruption in the IPL.

The Board has decided to bar cheerleaders and after-match parties for players and support staff besides ensuring a strict code of conduct to be followed by players and support staff, owners.

It has also decided to restrict the movement in players's dug-out and dressing room.
"The owners from now on will be restricted from entering dug-out and dressing room during matches. All players ands staff of franchises need to furnish telephone numbers with the BCCI before the tournament," Dalmiya said.

Adequate number of ACSU officials will be positioned in the hotels as well as grounds to supervise the proceedings besides the jamming of cellphone towers at the ground during matches.

The Board chief said a captains meeting will be held in order to get more suggestions and prepare an elaborate blueprint

"No national selector will be allowed to get associated with any franchise in any capacity," he said.

Suggestions will be invited from all quarters, including the franchises, to ensure that the IPL is conducted in the best possible manner. A separate working committee meeting will be held soon to finalise the action plan.

Asked whether the panel probing Meiyappan and Kundra has been given a deadline, Dalmiya said, "I can't determine the duration. It's quite a long procedure."

"The terms of reference will be the same for both," he added.
On Srinivasan's claim of North Indian lobby was responsible for his temporary ouster from the BCCI, Dalmiya said tongue-in-cheek, "I can't answer that because I am very bad in politics."

Sources said, today's meeting saw some heated exchange between some Board members and former BCCI and current Punjab Cricket Association President I S Bindra, who questioned the authority of Dalmiya. Bindra asked in what capacity was Dalmiya pronouncing Kundra's suspension and appointing Patel and Sawant as executive functionaries of the Board since he is not the interim President.

To this, Sawant, who was representing the MCA, protested and showed Bindra a clause in the BCCI Constitution that allows someone to convene and conduct a meeting if five members of the current working committee propose his name. After this, Bindra's protest didn't find any takers. 

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry