Hinting at a conflict of interests, Minister of State for Sports Ajay Maken on Wednesday asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India to de-link itself from running the cash-rich Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament in order to ensure a proper probe into spot fixing allegations.
Mr. Maken also urged the BCCI to open up to RTI (Right to Information) to bring about credibility and transparency in the system of running cricket. “They need not submit the accounts to us but they could open their accounts to RTI. This will only enhance the credibility of BCCI.” On the spot-fixing allegations, he said the BCCI “should go into the root cause of the problem. They have to handle the investigation because BCCI is recognised by the ICC to run cricket in India. It is their mandate and they are duty-bound to carry out a responsible job. Suspension of five players is not enough. BCCI has to come out with a long-term solution to sort out this mess,” Mr. Maken told journalists here.
The Minister's comments came on the heels of a TV sting operation, which led to the suspension of five IPL players — Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, T.P. Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali — with immediate effect.
On his suggestion that the BCCI keep its distance from the IPL, Mr. Maken cited the example of the English Premier League where clubs, rather than the national football body, run the tournament. “IPL should not be under BCCI. IPL and BCCI should be away from each other so that there is no overlapping of interests,” he said.
Also, “politicians should keep themselves away from running sports federations. Leave the administration of sports to qualified people who can run the sport.”