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IPL scandal: BCCI suggests 3-member probe panel

Faced with a credibility crisis arising out of the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal, the BCCI on Sunday suggested to the Supreme Court a three-member committee made up of eminent persons to probe the corruption case on the directives of the apex court.

cricket Updated: Apr 21, 2014 02:55 IST
Firoz Mirza

The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday decided to suggest to the Supreme Court a three-member committee to investigate the IPL betting and match-fixing scandal.

A BCCI working committee meeting proposed the names of former India cricketer Ravi Shastri, former chief justice of the Calcutta high court JN Patel and ex-CBI director RK Raghavan to the panel.

In what appeared to be a triumph for sidelined BCCI president N Srinivasan, the names were finalised in spite of strong objections by former BCCI chief and Srinivasan's rival Shashank Manohar, who represented Vidarbha Cricket Association in the meeting.

The SC had last week directed the BCCI to suggest names of persons who would conduct a "fair probe" into the IPL scandal and investigate those named in the justice Mudgal committee report. Accusing Srinivasan of turning a blind eye to the alleged scam, the SC had refused to reinstate him, favouring a probe panel suggested by the cricket body over a CBI investigation.

The apex court is expected to consider the suggestion in the next hearing of the case on April 22. The SC will also decide on who will head the committee, an official present at the meeting said.

It was learnt that while justice Patel's name was unanimously approved, objections were raised about the inclusion of Shastri and Raghavan.

"Members were asked to raise their hands when Raghavan's name came up and only one member went against him," said an official after the meeting.

Sources claimed the dissenting vote belonged to Manohar, who was against Raghavan and Shastri's inclusion but failed to garner support in his favour.

Manohar's opposition even forced BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, who suggested Shastri's name, to walk out of the meeting. He was subsequently pacified by other members, added sources.

Though the SC – which will receive BCCI's proposal on Tuesday – will take a final call in the matter, the committee's composition seems to have swung the balance in favour of Srinivasan.

A member present at the meeting confirmed that Shastri's name received several objections keeping in mind his role in the IPL governing council and the BCCI commentary team.

"Objecting members were assured that once the SC accepts his name, Shastri won't discharge those duties till the probe is over," the member added.

Even former BCCI president AC Muthiah raised concerns. "It looks quite an independent board except that Ravi has been in IPL and cricket commentary, so I don't know how much independence he will have," Muthiah said.