Rift in BCCI as two top officials quit

Sports Bureau
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Secretary, treasurer put in papers; ICC had warned Meiyappan, say police

The cracks within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which so far were only glimpsed in passing, became dramatically public following the resignations of secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke on Friday night.

The resignations came even as the BCCI moved to limit the damage caused by the revelation that Chennai Super Kings’ Gurunath Meiyappan had been warned by the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and that he had shared this information with actor and bookie Vindoo Dara Singh.

Jagdale ‘deeply hurt’

The resignations of Mr. Jagdale and Mr. Shirke confirmed the rising opposition within the BCCI to president N. Srinivasan, who is at the centre of the spot-fixing scandal because of his relationship with son-in-law Meiyappan and CSK. Mr. Jagdale said he would not serve on the three-man commission formed to conduct an inquiry into Mr. Meiyappan, India Cements, and the owners of Rajasthan Royals.

He said he was “deeply hurt by the recent developments” and hoped new faces would emerge and take the game forward.

The BCCI has called for a Special Working Committee Meeting early next week.

Sources indicated that the meeting, to be convened at the behest of Mr. Srinivasan, could be held on June 8.

No warning, says Srinivasan

Mr. Srinivasan, for his part, was quick to deny reports that the ICC had informed the BCCI of its warning to Meiyappan. “The ICC did not share any information with the BCCI on this matter.”

BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said “the BCCI office at Cricket Centre, Mumbai, doesn’t have communication from ICC about IPL VI.”

Tamil Nadu Cricket Association secretary K.S. Viswanathan, who attended the Board’s emergency working committee meeting held in Chennai on May 19, said the ICC’s anti-corruption representative “clearly said no information had been given to the BCCI” during the meeting.  “The working committee members were present, so was the head of the BCCI’s ACSU, Ravi Sawani,” he said.

The former Board president, A.C. Muthiah, however, noted: “The ICC’s anti-corruption unit would have passed the information on to the ACSU, which in turn would have alerted the president. The Board president would have been in the know.”

Grilling continues

Shoumojit Banerjee

reports from Mumbai:

A top police officer said that an official from the ICC’s ACSU had given an oral warning to Mr. Meiyappan. “By his [Mr. Meiyappan’s] own admission, the warning ostensibly pertained to the company he kept,” he said.

He also said that the BCCI may not have been aware of the warning. “To the best of our knowledge, the BCCI’s name has not figured in the conversation.” Mr. Meiyappan, it would appear, never sought an explanation as to the cause of this warning, stating that he “did not have the courage” to do so.  

Crime Branch sources also said the CSK Team Principal had informed the arrested actor and bookie, Vindoo Dara Singh, about this warning. “Be careful, I have been warned,” is what Mr. Meiyappan is allegedly said to have told Mr. Singh.

Sources within the Crime Branch have confirmed…

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