The emergent working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which met here on Tuesday, gave a clean chit to International Cricket Council chairman N. Srinivasan in the Indian Premier League corruption scandal.
“The members noted the conclusions in the final report of the Justice Mudgal committee and felt that there is no taint on the conduct of Mr. Srinivasan and the allegations levelled against him by unscrupulous elements were baseless and were aimed at destabilising the working of the BCCI,” a release said.
The working committee also backed IPL Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sundar Raman, who, the Mudgal committee report said, “knew a contact of a bookie and had contacted him eight times in one season.”
On Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, whom the Mudgal committee, in its final report, held guilty of betting, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, who addressed the media after the meeting, said, “They have to fight their own cases and the matter is in front of the Supreme Court.”
The official release made no mention of the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman having taken no action to report a player violating the IPL players’ code of conduct.
The Justice Mudgal committee in its final report had said, “This individual (N. Srinivasan) along with four other BCCI officials was aware of the violation of the players code of conduct by ‘individual 3’ but no action was taken against ‘individual 3’ by any of the aforesaid officials who were aware of this infraction.”
Now the focus will shift to the November 24 hearing in the Supreme Court where more is expected to be known in the matter.
Also of significance will be the fate of the two teams — Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Mudgal committee report had noted that Gurunath Meiyappan was “in fact acting as a team official if not the de-facto owner of CSK,” as against earlier attempts by the franchise to distance itself from him. It also noted that Meiyappan and Raj Kundra (RR co-owner) were involved in betting activities.
The franchises are bound by Clause 11.3 (c) of the Franchise Agreement. It says, “a franchise may be terminated with immediate effect if “the Franchisee, any Franchisee Group Company and/ or any Owner acts in any way which has a material adverse effect upon the reputation or standing of the League, BCCI-IPL, BCCI, the Franchisee, the Team (or any other team in the League) and/ or the game of cricket.”
Schedule 3 of the Agreement, which sets out the franchises’ obligations and Clause 2 (i) asks the franchise “not to engage in any activity or practice which may be reasonably anticipated to result in public criticism of or to reflect badly on BCCI-IPL, the League, BCCI, the Team and/ or the game of cricket”.
A sub-clause says a franchise should ensure that “all Players, Team officials and/ or employees, or any other person acting for or on behalf of the Franchisee and/ or the Team comply with the Regulations during each Season and that the Team complies with the Laws of Cricket during matches.”