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IPL betting: SC set to dismiss N Srinivasan, appoint Sunil Gavaskar as interim chief

Shaking up Indian cricket, the Supreme Court on Thursday proposed replacing BCCI president N Srinivasan with former great Sunil Gavaskar till an inquiry into corruption in the IPL was completed. I'll be happy to take up BCCI job: Gavaskar

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2014 07:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

The Supreme Court on Thursday proposed former cricketer Sunil Gavaskar be appointed as interim chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in place of N Srinivasan till it gives its final verdict in the Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and spot-fixing case.

This came after Srinivasan told the apex court he is ready to step down as the BCCI chief until the court completes its investigation.

"In the place of Srinivasan, we propose to appoint an experienced cricket player like Sunil Gavaskar to replace him and function as BCCI president," justice AK Patnaik said at the hearing.

File photo of president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) N. Srinivasan as he gestures at a press conference in Kolkata. (AFP Photo)

The SC on Tuesday had told Srinivasan to step down as the BCCI chief to enable free and fair probe in the betting and spot-fixing scandal involving his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and some cricketers.

Meiyappan was found guilty of match-fixing and betting during IPL 2013 by the apex court-appointed committee, headed by former Punjab and Haryana chief justice Mudgal, probing corruption charges against team owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

Read:Dhoni accused of lying to probe panel

The SC also proposed no employee of India Cements, a company owned by Srinivasan, should be associated with BCCI.

The panel of judges also said the CSK and the Rajasthan Royals -- the two teams at the centre of an ongoing probe into illegal betting and match-fixing -- should be barred from the next edition of the IPL beginning next month.

"We are not removing anyone now, but Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will not be allowed to participate in the IPL which commences on April 16," added Patnaik, who is head of the two-judge panel.

The SC will pass the interim order on IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal on Friday, reports said.

Earlier in the day, the BCCI gave its proposal before the SC in the case saying it is ready to take disciplinary proceedings against those who figure in the Mudgal committee report.

The SC on Thursday began final hearing in the IPL spot-fixing case.

The BCCI also told the SC a detailed investigation on the basis of findings of Mudgal committee report is required.

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The cricket board had also offered that Srinivasan would set aside for a free and fair probe and the Chennai Police may have a time bound probe into the IPL spot-fixing case.

"We'll have to think hard for the benefit of cricket and pass order," the SC said on the BCCI's proposal.

The hearing in the case, which began on Tuesday, was ominous for the 69-year-old Srinivasan, as justice Patnaik had lashed out at the BCCI chief with harsh words.

"Why is Srinivasan not stepping down? It is so nauseating? Why is he sticking to the president's post?" Patnaik had said.

Srinivasan is facing more heat with three of the five BCCI vice presidents - Shivlal Yadav, Ravi Sawant and Chitrak Mitra - putting pressure on him to honour the Supreme Court's observation.

The justice Mudgal committee had also said allegations of fixing against Meiyappan require further investigation and also left it to the Supreme Court the issue of conflict of interest against Srinivasan.

It also comprised of additional solicitor general N Nageswara Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta.

The over 100-page report went into various issues like suspected involvement of six India-capped players in fixing, betting allegations against Rajasthan Royals owners and the need to bring discipline in players.

The three-member committee had named in its report six prominent "Indian capped" players, including one who is part of the current team.

Under the Franchise Agreement and IPL's anti-corruption code, CSK runs the risk of facing disciplinary action including ban for the acts of Meiyappan, who was its Team Principal, for bringing the game into disrepute.

"The committee is of the view that the material on record clearly indicates that Meiyappan was the face of CSK and the team official of CSK," the report had said rejecting Srinivasan's contention that he was merely a cricket enthusiast.

The Board had earlier said that "speculative and baseless" charges against leading cricketers have been made by "unscrupulous" news channels and the apex court must pass an order to prevent any further damage to the image and reputation of "innocent" cricketers.

The court had appointed the panel on October 8 last year to investigate the scandal that rocked the popular Twenty20 tournament run by the BCCI.

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The IPL betting and fixing case began in June last year when the secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) Aditya Verma filed a PIL in the Bombay high court. After a two-member BCCI probe commission, appointed by Srinivasan and Co, gave Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royal's Raj Kundra a clean chit, hell broke loose.

Verma promptly filed an affidavit in Bombay HC pointing out Srinivasan's conflict of interest, since he owned Chennai Super Kings and Meiyappan was the husband of his daughter.

The BCCI doesn't recognise Verma's CAB.

Read:Shorter IPL could be nightmare come true

Srinivasan had stepped aside in June 2013 after Meiyappan's name cropped up in the fixing scandal, which had to led to a ban on paceman S Sreesanth and his two other Rajasthan Royals colleagues.

In his absence, former BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya discharged the duties of the president. However, at the BCCI AGM in September 2013, Srinivasan was re-elected as the president

(With AFP, PTI and ANI inputs)

Read: Team India prepare for battle amidst trouble

First Published: Mar 27, 2014 13:31 IST