The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has managed to keep most opposition at bay; even the government has not been able to bring it under the RTI.
But Aditya Verma has dared to fight it. The secretary of the unaffiliated Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) took the BCCI to court, braving alleged attempts to persuade him to drop the case. It was his petition in the Mumbai High Court which led to the first inquiry panel of the Board being ruled “illegal”, and his appeal to the apex court led to the forming of a fresh inquiry committee.
“BCCI, which boasts it wants to take cricket from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, withdrew our (CAB) membership abruptly after 75 years. So many Bihar kids are deprived of cricket. Jharkhand Cricket Association stole our money to build its ground,” Verma told HT.
Verma and his men have for many years been locked in a legal battle with the BCCI for being disaffiliated. Bihar has been unable to play Ranji Trophy for 13 years. “Why are we the only ones keen on taking them down? Because we are outsiders. The rest (other state units) will allow all corruption to exist because they want a piece of the pie.”
Who is funding this expensive court battle? “Subodh Kant Sahai (Jharkhand MP, a former central minister) is the main force… this battle is far from over. If it wasn’t for us, the Supreme Court would have never deemed the Bombay High Court order illegal and all would have been good in the BCCI household. We enlightened the Supreme Court that the previous probe panel did not even wait for the police reports before giving clean chits to Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra.”
It was on Verma’s petition that the apex court stopped Srinivasan from taking charge as BCCI president. When pointed out that Srinivasan has been cleared to resume charge and that there was no guarantee the new probe panel would find the IPL owners guilty, Verma said: “Just wait and watch. The reason why the previous probe panel cleared these guys is because the BCCI didn’t provide them with the right documents. It was eyewash. This time, we have total faith in the new panel. The Supreme Court has given me, the petitioner, the right to get involved in the proceedings.”
He said: “Srinivasan being allowed to resume doesn’t mean anything because the probe has started and he won’t be involved in any way.
“The panel won’t request them for any documents this time. Everything will be routed through the right channels and I’ll be there to track every move.”
The Mukul Mudgal panel has four months to submit its report to the court. The court has asked the BCCI to arrange for its travel and accommodation and pay the panel Rs. 1 lakh per working day.
“Though everyone feels Srini’s return is a defeat for us, our request that the Supreme Court must supervise the investigation has been accepted. If anything, it’s a win for us. Just wait until all the big names involved in this mess are revealed.”