The Board of Control for Cricket in India's lack of urgency when it comes to dealing with issues related to fixing leaves it open to the prospect of encountering raised eyebrows.
On Friday, the day Rajasthan Royals faced the Kings XI Punjab, it was revealed that a Royals player had been approached to perform poorly during this IPL. This came almost two years after three Rajasthan Royals players were arrested on charges of fixing.
Though this incident is understood to have taken place more than a month ago, a BCCI official told HT on Friday, "We cannot hold anyone guilty yet. What if the player who claims to have been offered the money to perform poorly is not saying the complete truth? He must prove it to our ACSU that his teammate actually asked him to perform poorly in the IPL. Once that happens we will think of our next step."
Fortunately, the concerned Mumbai-based player who was approached turned his back on this offer made to him by his Ranji teammate and reported the approach to the Royals' management, which alerted the BCCI's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU).
"The player's dedication to maintain the highest standards of integrity needs to be lauded," Raghu Iyer, RR CEO, said. BCCI confirmed the incident. "An inappropriate approach was made to a member of the Rajasthan Royals team," Anurag Thakur, BCCI secretary, said.
The Mumbai Cricket Association, whose team the players belong to, were a little more proactive. "We will call the Mumbai players in the Royals side for interrogation as soon as possible. Once we have more clarity we will set up an inquiry committee and decide the punishment for the player who made the unfortunate offer to one of these boys," Nitin Dalal, MCA joint secretary, told HT.
"However, we would have liked the player to have reported the matter to us before taking it forward."
There are four players, who have played Ranji Trophy for Mumbai, in the Royals squad - Ajinkya Rahane, Dhawal Kulkarni, Pravin Tambe and Abhishek Nayar. Of them Rahane and Kulkarni were in Australia with the World Cup squad last month and so it is unlikely one of their Ranji teammates could have approached him during that period.
It is also understood that MCA will write to the BCCI asking it to reveal more details about the player who made the approach.
For the Royals, this incident has come as a major distraction. "We have a match today against Punjab, so we do not want to discuss or think about this issue," Arjun Dev, RR team manager, said.
The fate of Royals and CSK lies in the hands of the Justice Lodha committee appointed by the Supreme Court. The current revelation will raise further questions.