It’s been a year since the Indian cricket board set up a two-member committee to probe the payment of Rs 6 crore to a London-based investigative and security agency, but the panel not meeting even once has raised doubts whether the sports body is really serious about the investigation.
The payment made to the British agency, PPS had irked many BCCI officials who alleged the N Srinivasan-led administration wanted to keep a tab on their communication channels during a tumultuous phase after the IPL spot-fixing scandal erupted in 2013.
Shivlal Yadav, then a BCCI vice-president, was the interim president when this payment was made in 2014. The former India spinner, who had stepped in after N Srinivasan was directed to step down by the Supreme Court following the 2013 fixing scandal, was seen more as a proxy appointment.
In the AGM in November last year, some officials had raised the issue, and the Board appointed secretary Ajay Shirke and vice-president Gokaraju Gangaraju of Andhra Pradesh to probe the issue.
A year on, the panel has not even held a meeting.
“After the initial stage when the committee was formed, we have not been able to meet even once to discuss it. Sometimes, when he (Shirke) is available, I am not. When I am available, he is not. But we are looking to soon meet and find a solution. We had asked for the documents from Sanjay Patel (then secretary) and they are with Mr Shirke,” Gangaraju told HT.
‘Payments no big deal’
Calls to Shirke went unanswered. Patel said the payment wasn’t a big deal. “We hire so many software companies. As far as I know, this PPS was also hired for its software services,” he told HT.
Aditya Verma, secretary of the unaffiliated Cricket Association of Bihar, the man who filed the petition against Srinivasan in the Supreme Court, has alleged in a letter to the Justice RM Lodha Committee and Shirke that the security company could also have snooped on communication between Supreme Court judges and the Lodha panel members.
Verma has claimed the BCCI panel lacks expertise to conduct the probe and wants a government agency to take over investigation.