More muck

The Mukul Mudgal Committee report on the alleged corrupt practices in the Indian Premier League couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.

The seventh edition of the cash-rich league is just a few weeks away, and the committee’s findings have confirmed the belief that much cleansing has to be done in the IPL and as the report said it should stand alone as commercial entity. There’s no question that the IPL is a wonderful platform, particularly for budding players for it gives them the opportunity to play alongside some of the finest cricketers from around the world. However, the corrupt and self-serving should get
weeded out of the IPL.

That sorting out process should begin at the earliest because every day lost will strengthen the doubts in public mind about the integrity of the tournament. The IPL and thereby cricket cannot afford to lose the fan base because of some criminal minded individuals using it as a platform to fulfill their personal goals. The Board of Control for Cricket in India had done well to hand out punishments to players such as S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan for their involvement in acts that brought disrepute to the IPL and cricket in general. After the findings of the Mudgal committee came to light on Monday, the time has come for the board to once again take some hard steps.

The commitee has indicted Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan, for his involvement in betting while being an official with the Chennai Super Kings during the sixth edition of the IPL. Srinivasan had maintained that Meiyappan was a ‘just a cricket enthusiast’ when the controversy broke for the first time last year, a view that was supported by other team officials and some players including skipper M S Dhoni.

Their claim has fallen flat on its nose after Mudgal report clearly stated that Meiyappan indulged in betting and he indeed was the ‘face’ of CSK. Srinivasan had stepped aside from the duties of BCCI president when Meiyappan’s name had cropped up during the investigations last year. Will he repeat the act now? There is a provision in the IPL bylaws to scrap a franchise if any of its players or officials are found to be involved in dishonest acts. While annulling a franchise is an extreme step it would be advisable to keep the Super Kings away from IPL till it clears its name.

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