The cricketing body plans to investigate the scandal and submit its report within a month
It could be curtains as far as S. Sreesanth’s cricket career is concerned as the BCCI is set to impose a life-ban on the ‘maverick’ pacer from Kerala for his alleged role in spot-fixing three of Rajasthan Royals’ Indian Premier League matches this season.
As of now, the BCCI top brass will be keeping an eye on how the Delhi Police Investigations pan out, but there is unanimity among the office-bearers that “Sreesanth should not be allowed to play any cricket at any level” from now on.
“As of now, Ravi Sawani, who is the head of BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit, will carry out a parallel investigation and will submit a report to BCCI disciplinary committee headed by Arun Jaitley within 30 days,” a senior BCCI office-bearer told PTI on Thursday. “But the mood among BCCI office-bearers is pretty clear. If we say zero tolerance, we should be able to walk the talk. We don’t see Sreesanth ending with anything less than a life-ban. The decision will take some time but that’s what is likely to happen,” he added.
What could prove to be decisive is the arrest of Sreesanth along with Haryana’s Ajit Chandila and Mumbai’s Ankeet Chavan.
“Last year, BCCI carried an enquiry based on sting operation carried by a TV channel and T.P. Sudhindra was handed out life-ban. Here the case is even more twisted as the police has carried out arrests. There is practically no chance for any reprieve for Sreesanth,” he concluded.
BCCI suspends tainted trio
A “shocked and saddened” BCCI on Thursday suspended Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royals players accused of spot-fixing in the IPL and vowed to take “strictest action” against them if found guilty after an inquiry.
“As of now, the three players viz; Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and S. Sreesanth stand suspended pending enquiry. All information required to bring the persons involved to book will be collected and strictest action will be taken, if found guilty,” the BCCI said in a statement issued by Secretary Sanjay Jagdale.
The Board said it would cooperate with the Delhi Police during the course of investigation.
“The BCCI is shocked and saddened at the recent developments. The BCCI has zero tolerance to corruption. We will offer all cooperation to the Delhi police and all other authorities in their investigations in this matter. The IPL Governing Council has met and decided that the cricketers found involved will be dealt with severely,” the Board stated.
The Board said it was unfortunate to see players indulging in corruption despite getting good contracts from their franchises.
“The BCCI engages the services of the anti corruption wing of the ICC to educate and monitor players and support staff in prevention of corruption of any form in the game,” it said.
“In fact, it is wholly unfortunate that despite such education, best playing conditions and terms of engagement offered, some players seem to be indulging in such activity,” it added.
Air India suspends players
Tainted Rajasthan Royals’ cricketers Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were on Thursday suspended by their employer Air India after being arrested by the Delhi Police on charges of spot-fixing in the ongoing IPL.
“As soon as any of our staff is arrested by the police, they are deemed to be suspended with immediate effect,” an airline official told PTI.
Both were employed by Air India under sports quota. “If government employees are charged under IPC (120 B, 420 for the duo), then they are immediately suspended from the services. Air India has got nothing to do in such cases and neither will it set up any enquiry with police already investigating the matter,” the officials said.