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IPL: Cementing a Chennai connection

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2014 11:56 IST
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When the 2013 Indian Premier League betting scandal surfaced, Sanjay Jagdale was the honorary secretary of the Indian cricket board, and ideally, every official communication should be routed through him. Interestingly, when the board made the decision to appoint a probe panel to investigate the IPL betting scandal, he got to know of it only when he received a letter saying he was one of the three members of the committee.

It came to light when in a reply to a query from a PIL that challenged the probe panel's appointment Jagdale wrote that he was not aware of any IPL Governing Council meeting on May 28 to appoint the commission. Even more damning was that Jagdale, while claiming he had no knowledge who suggested the names of the two retired judges, also said he was unaware of the BCCI's press release that had him as the signatory while announcing the panel.

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It is an example of how the Board of Control for Cricket in India has been generally administered during N Srinivasan's regime. "Like in Jagmohan Dalmiya's time everything happened from Kolkata, during Srinivasan's time everything happens from Chennai," a senior Board member told HT.

Conflict of Interest is the most serious charge against Srinivasan, and among the hard-hitting proposals that the Supreme Court directed towards Srinivasan and the BCCI, dissociating all India Cements employees from the BCCI was striking.

It starts right from the top with India Cements, of which Srinivasan is the managing director, owning the Chennai Super Kings. Likewise, there have been India Cements officials who are performing dual responsibilities at the BCCI as and when needed. Then, there have been instances where rules have been used or created to favour CSK.

Kasi Viswanathan, a senior employee at the India Cements, holds considerable clout in the running of the BCCI administration and is the secretary of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) of which Srinivasan is the president. Officially, he is on the National Cricket Academy Board. The legal team of the India Cements and the BCCI overlap, and so do some top finance officials.

It is apart from the various cricketers on the rolls of India Cements. It's been a rewarding time for them. One of the reasons why former India spinner L Sivaramakrishnan's presence in the ICC cricket committee raised many eyebrows was because of his being an India Cements employee.

S Sharath, an India Cements official is also a BCCI match official. He was at the DY Patil T20 tournament as a talent scout for CSK this year. Though it couldn't be independently verified, Harish Salve, counsel of the petitioner Aditya Verma, says Sundar Raman, CEO of the IPL, is also an employee of Indian Cements.

The Chartered Accounting firm PB Vijayaraghavan and Co. handles BCCI's internal audit, and according to reports, also handles the internal audit of India Cements. They are also the auditors for TNCA.

Srinivasan generated a lot of goodwill for supporting the game in Chennai by providing employment to cricketers in India Cements but he lost the plot when it came to managing the affairs of the CSK. And it has not even been subtle, the worst example being his using the veto power to retain MS Dhoni as captain against the verdict of the national selectors.