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Updated: May 30, 2013 09:41 IST

Pressure mounts on Srinivasan

Special Correspondent
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BCCI president N. Srinivasan talks to the media as he leaves the Board headquarters after attending a meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday.
PTI BCCI president N. Srinivasan talks to the media as he leaves the Board headquarters after attending a meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday.

BCCI’s reputation has taken a hit, says Sharad Pawar

N. Srinivasan’s crown may be slipping, after all. After artfully dodging a few bouncers, Indian cricket’s super king found himself teetering on the very brink on Wednesday, as calls for his removal from the post of president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acquired an urgent shrillness.

While chairman of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Rajeev Shukla demanded that Mr. Srinivasan “stay away” [from the BCCI’s investigation process], Sharad Pawar, former president of both the Board and the International Cricket Council, said, “The BCCI’s reputation has taken a hit.”

“I am sad to learn of the malpractices in IPL through the electronic and print media. I would not have allowed this to happen,” said Mr. Pawar, who is also president of the Nationalist Congress Party.

Mr. Shukla, who met president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association Arun Jaitley, said: “He [Srinivasan] is an elected president. We are of the view, even Mr. Jaitley feels so, that it is good if he stays away from this procedure [of the enquiry commission going into spot-fixing allegations and the involvement of Mr. Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, in betting on the games].”

For its part, the Sports Ministry released a statement that read: “BCCI is inquiring into allegations of spot- and match-fixing. As there is a conflict of interest in this inquiry, the BCCI president should tender his resignation on moral grounds, pending the outcome of the inquiry.”

But Mr. Srinivasan made his own position clear before flying out of Mumbai on Wednesday. And the message was, he was not going to step down. “I will make only one statement. I saw Mr. Shukla’s interview just now. He has clarified and what he says is that a three-member commission is appointed and I should dissociate from the procedure. In fact, I have nothing to do with the commission. There are two independent retired judges [Mr. Jayaram Chouta and Mr. R. Balasubramanian] and the Secretary of the Board [Sanjay Jagdale]. They will go into the matter. So we will await that result. I will not react to individual members’ reaction,” said the BCCI chief.

On Tuesday, president of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association Jyotiraditya Scindia was categorical in saying Mr. Srinivasan should step down.

Last weekend in Kolkata, Board vice-president Mr. Jaitley and the former president, Shashank Manohar, had informally tried to persuade Mr. Srinivasan to step down pending enquiry. It was suggested that if nothing incriminating came out after the enquiry, Mr. Srinivasan could resume charge. But he maintained that he had done nothing wrong and would not resign. Eventually, the Board accepted his stand.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pawar supported Mr. Manohar’s view that all IPL matches be probed under the supervision of the Home Ministry. Mr. Pawar also found support from Mumbai Cricket Association chief Ravi Savant and the former cricketer, Chetan Chauhan.

There were also whispers in the Board regarding Mr. Shukla’s role in the ongoing controversy. “Should he also not quit on moral grounds since he is heading the IPL. Why was he silent all these days,” asked a senior Board official.

Predictably, Mr. Shukla himself indicated that he was not keen on holding on to the IPL post next year. The IPL chairman’s appointment is made on an annual basis.

Srinivasan's audacity in clinging to the post refusing to resign on moral grounds is not appreciable but highly condemnable. When the trouble broke out for Gurunath Meiyappan son-in-law,over his alleged involvement in betting,Srinivasan father-in-law, issued a statement distancing the franchise from the son-in-law. But, Srinivasan announced before finals at Kolkatta the suspension of Meiyappan from all activities related to the franchise although he continued to insist that Meiyappan had no involvement with the franchise and that his association was only as a cricket enthusiast. Then, what was he being suspended from if Meiyappan was in no way connected with CSK? Having allowed Meiyappan access to special privilege areas like team dug-outs, team meetings etc. Srinivasan holds responsibility to ensure that Meiyappan did not act against the interest of the game which is what he did by allegedly selling the team secrets to bookies. So the blame squarely lies at the doors of Srinivasan

from:  C.Periyasamy
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 13:07 IST

It is appalling to witness the people’s representatives fighting for positions in the BCCI and for a so-called clean Cricket. Mr. Sharad Pawar, the Minister of Agriculture - being the head of the most important ministry; a ministry that needs his full time attention and concentration, while the Nation is reeling under poverty and drought, says “I am sad to learn of the malpractices in IPL through the electronic and print media. I would not have allowed this to happen,”. The working masses wonder whether Mr. Pawar, while trying to be jack of all trades in politics and Cricket, will be able to deliver what the majority of the people need urgently- food, water, improvement in agriculture, saving cultivable lands from land mafias. Elected People’s representatives should choose between Cricket and the Parliament; then only democratic values can be saved.

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 13:07 IST

According to the current nature of governance of the entire system in India, Mr. Srinivasan has done nothing wrong; he is not to be blamed for the business ambitions of his SON-IN-LAW. SON-IN-LAWs and DAUGHTERs in other DOMAIN such as politics have not abandoned their business ambitions and when exposed, their FATHER-IN-LAWs and MOTHER-IN-LAWs were forced to resign from positions. It is a myth to believe that Indian Cricket with its exposed fixings have done a big damage to India’s reputation. Long back Cricket ceased to be a sport played for pleasure; today, it is a thriving business for the bourgeoisie; even historians have an eye to it. It is better to leave it as private business like Golf, and Formula-1. But unlike in other sports, cricket fans (with a strong emotional attachment created by the electronic media by a constant live-telecast) have suffered a moral-shock when some of their cricketer-gods played it in other ways unknown to the non-business classes.

from:  A.Kannan
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 11:19 IST

Any clean-up of Cricket, and other sports bodies, has to start with ensuring MPs, MLAs and such hold no office enjoying perks and public exposure in such bodies that benefit in many ways from largesse from governments, at the centre and in states - tax-exemptions etc. All such offices should be declared offices-of profit, and disqualification to be MPs or MLAs, or running as candidates in elections.
Politics, sports and governance in country will benefit.

from:  raghavan
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 10:34 IST

yes Shukla should resign first before he ask Srinivasan

from:  sat
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 10:09 IST

How come people are sure that the other BCCI officers are clean?
Srinivasan if removed then every single person from BCCI and IPL group
including Sharad Pawar should resign and a complete enquiry and
investigation should be done to clear them out from this.

from:  PSMAYO
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 09:56 IST

To me it is obvious Indian cricket and it's IPL avatar is running at high speed on a
cocktail of three evils : politics, mega bucks, unaccountability. Sport cannot be
resurrected by sacking one culprit, especially if he is the strongest of all the culprits.
And those who bemoan so called indifference of the public should understand no
Indian believes anything in our great Bharath is beyond corruption.

The solution is to scrap the current set-up completely.

from:  Rsachi
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 09:10 IST

India Cements is a reputed public limited company. Wonder why no one in
media has approached India Cements for their official view on Mr
Meiyyappan's involvement confirmation against all the publicly available
evidence of his role within CSK?

from:  Nick
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 09:06 IST

Srinivasan's audacity amid all the media frenzy is admirable. Just
because his son-in-law has been implicated, it is unfair to demand
resignation from him. It also does not make any sense how his stepping
down would make the probe any fairer, if he is the omnipotent he is made
out to be.

from:  Vaijayanth R
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 08:11 IST

BCCI should resign (all members). Let us get cricketers run the show.

from:  v.shankar
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 06:53 IST

In this case, an independent Judicial Commission should appointed to investigate and report to the judiciary within a limited time and all resources allocated to achieve the result. On the basis of it, charges should be laid against all those who were found to be involved in the scam. In the mean time, the BCCI board has to be suspended and a Government appointed Commissioner be given the responsibility to run the show. It is time to clear the air and bring back the needed confidence in the administration of the Board. This a Goose that lays the golden eggs for the Indian sports. Once tainted, it is hard to recover the confidence , both Nationally and Internationally.

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 06:09 IST

Even a genuine cricket match these days would seem like fixed to my eyes! This is not just the plight of cricket but anything and everything that's concerned with India. I have been living abroad for quite a while now and being a foreigner here i always come across weird comments about India, mostly, corruption. But then i just couldn't defend those comments because that's the way it is. The sad part is people doesn't really care, corruption is something like a rape although its a slow torture, its super deadly. Its not just Mr. Srinivasan every other BCCI board member must resign and surrender including Mr. Lalit Modi. Amidst, all these issues Mr Modi went unnoticed. The GoI must authorize BCCI as a national organization and treat it as a Govt body. This has been a request for several years while both govt at the centre and BCCI has enjoyed making billions. People must stop watching this gamble and show their sincere gratitude for the sport.

from:  Nathan
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 05:59 IST

IPL is a private body that is not using public funds. People who are demanding Srinivasan's resignation on moral grounds should demand PM Manmohan Singh's resignation also on the same grounds. The IPL has not misused public funds nor committed any crime while the UPA Government and its ministers have done both.

from:  N.S. Rajaram
Posted on: May 30, 2013 at 05:37 IST

This is a most amazing comment asking Rajeev Shukla to resign before asking N.Srinivasan to resign. The basic thing is that the person who controls CSK franchise should not be in power when there is an ongoing enquiry against the same franchise along with Rajasthan Royals.Even if Srinivasan says that Board will not interfere with the enquiry, his words will have more value only if he steps down at this stage and then if the enquiry proves no wrong thing in CSK, then he can come back as BCCI President with more respect and honour.

from:  desikan
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 22:41 IST

The pointed question is, who has approved the appointment of the enquiry
commission and its constitution ? If Mr N Srinivasan has anything to do with it, he
simply has to go. Merely saying he would not interfere with the enquiry would not
cut ice anywhere.

from:  KS Raghunathan
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 19:07 IST

As IPL Chairman Mr Sukhla should have put in his papers first instead of
asking Mr Srinivasan to dissociate himself from enquiry.The demand from
media for Mr Srinivasan,s head is ridiculous ,unethical and
opportunistic

from:  Ramachandran k
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 18:30 IST

Why is no one asking for IPL Commissioner to quit on moral grounds?
Should we read so much from their silence on the IPL commissioner!

from:  Subash
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 17:35 IST

On moral grounds Srinivasan should quit - atleast till the enquiries are over. His adamant attitude creates DOUBTS. As per the latest version of High Court, State Government has the right to not only ask Srinivasan to quit, but also has the right to dissolve BCCI. Depends, what he wants to do.

from:  Rajasekaran Iyer
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 17:32 IST

It is up to Srinivasan to prove his innocence beyond any doubt. For a
fair probe he is bound to resign to avoid unwarranted pressures. His
defiance for a legitimate demand will be falsely interpreted as fear of
being fixed in the fiasco of IPL.

from:  K.A.R.Reddy
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 17:24 IST

I fail to understand what is this hullabullo about. Even in Government Offices, when enquiry is ordered against any person(s), a senior departmental officer is appointed as Enquiry Officer. And the Departmental Head or the Minister of the concerned Ministry does not resign! The Press and the Electronic Media making a hue and cry does not sound convincing to the common man! Pray bring down your noise!

from:  R.M.Murthy
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 17:20 IST

IPL chairman Rajiv shukla should set an example by resigning before he
asks srinivasan to quit as it is IPL scam/betting not test crickets/BCCI administartion scandal etc.In fcat srinivasan should have firmly asked
Rajiv shukla to quit.srinivasan is very soft in his approach so far.

from:  ramachandrasekaran
Posted on: May 29, 2013 at 15:56 IST
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