BCCI probe panel may give clean chit to Srini

Former president likely to make a comeback

BCCI probe panel may give clean chit to Srini

Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan is likely to be cleared of all charges, paving the way for his return to the helm of cricket affairs in India.

Sources said Srinivasan’s fate would be decided at the BCCI working committee meeting on August 2 in New Delhi, where a report of the two-member internal probe committee would be discussed.

The report, which was submitted during Sunday’s meeting in Kolkata, looks into whether Srinivasan, also the owner of India Cements, had any commercial interests in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sources pointed out that a clean chit seems highly probable for Srinivasan as the two other accused, son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra, owner of Rajasthan Royals, have been cleared due to lack of evidence.

Meiyappan, who has been exonerated from spot-fixing charges, is yet to be absolved of betting allegations. The BCCI working committee, chaired by interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya, on Sunday tabled the report and handed it over to Arun Jaitley, senior BJP leader and chairman of the IPL governing council. Jaitley will present his recommendations on August 2.

Jaitley took over from Rajiv Shukla, who stepped down on moral grounds when spot-fixing and betting during IPL season 6 came to light. However, Shukla will continue as the chairman as his resignation is yet to be accepted.

“He had resigned and it had not been accepted. So he will chair the meeting,” Dalmiya said.

After Sunday’s meeting, Dalmiya said: “The probe commission’s order was received only this morning. There were speculations that it was received earlier but the fact is our secretary, Sanjay Patel, received it very late today (Sunday).”

He added that due to lack of time, the report was forwarded to the IPL governing council as per operational rules and was accordingly handed over to Jaitley.

While Kundra was pronounced “not guilty” after the witness who previously deposed before the Mumbai Police retracted his statement, in Meiyappan’s case, the two-member probe panel of retired Justices T J Chouta and R Balasubramanian reportedly did not receive proper cooperation from the Mumbai Police.

The Mumbai Police refused to depose before them citing absence of locus standi. This forced the panel to base the inquiry on information available in the public domain, which was insufficient.

Dalmiya was also categorical on the investigation into the issue of conflict of interests between players and sports management companies. The board also framed a guideline to henceforth guide cricketers involved in such activities, providing captain M S Dhoni much needed breathing space.

“I had said nothing will be swept under the carpet, even if it is about Dhoni. A lot of hue and cry had been created regarding Dhoni’s involvement in a sports management company. Instead of harassing players, the BCCI has taken some concrete steps,” Dalmiya said. 

Comments (+)