Srinivasan yields, convenes BCCI working committee meeting
Buckling under relentless pressure on him to quit, BCCI president N Srinivasan today convened an emergency meeting of the Board's all-powerful working committee on June 8 to discuss the current crisis arising out of betting and spot-fixing in the T20 League.india Updated: May 31, 2013 20:17 IST
Buckling under relentlesspressure on him to quit, BCCI President N Srinivasan on Friday convened an emergency meeting of the Board's all-powerful working committee on June 8 to discuss the current crisis arising out of betting and spot-fixing in T20 League.
The beleaguered president's decision came after three important members called him up to convene such a meeting and asked him to announce it by the evening in what is seen as the first step towards possibly ousting him.
Significantly, the working committee at best could only pile more pressure on Srinivasan to quit as it had no powers to vote him out, which only a special general body meeting consisting of members of all the state associations can do.
Sources said there was also a hint of threat of resignation by the three office-bearers - secretary Sanjay Jagdale, joint secretary Anurag Thakur and treasurer Ajay Shirke - if no decision on working committee came by Friday evening. However, sources close to Srinivasan denied any threat to him.
The decision on working committee meeting came on a day when more embarrassing information came out from Mumbai Police that Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK's team principal Gurunath Meiyappan told them that ICC had warned him at the start of the T20 League to keep away from suspicious characters.
Mumbai Police sources claimed that during interrogation Gurunath, arrested on charges of betting, had told investigators that he was warned by officials of the anti-corruption unit to keep away from suspicious characters.
They said Gurunath did not use the word bookies apparently because it was obvious to him and to the police that he was dealing with a bookie like Vindoo Dara Singh and allegedly placing bets.
"Be careful, I have been warned," Meiyappan had told actor Vindoo Randhawa who is also under arrest in the case. This is part of Meiyappan's statement to the crime branch, the source said, adding Vindoo has corroborated it.
The source declined to reveal the name of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) official and said they were yet to corroborate it with the ICC.
"We are yet to corroborate Meiyappan's statement with ICC and we at the moment don't even know if any person by that name (given by Meiyappan) exists," he said.
The ACSU keeps players, team members and umpires under surveillance in order to check malpractices in the game.
Crime Branch sources said that at no stage BCCI was informed about the "dubious" activities of Meiyappan.
"The ACSU official was in direct communication with Meiyappan. BCCI was not informed about it," they said.
Sources said when Meiyappan was asked why such warning was issued to him, he (CSK owner) replied "probably because of the company (Vindoo and other bookies) I kept."
When contacted, Srinivasan said that the BCCI did not receive any warning from ICC on Gurunath or anybody else. He said he had checked with BCCI officials who also told him that there was no such warning to them.
BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur also said there was no such communication from ICC to the Board.
The ICC, on its part, refused to go into the issue of purported warning to Gurunath.
"The ICC's ACSU is providing its full support to the BCCI and India Police in the ongoing investigations," an ICC spokesman said when contacted about the Mumbai Police claim.
Iconic player Sachin Tendulkar on Friday lent his voice of concern over the "shocking and disappointing" developments that have rocked Indian cricket in the last two weeks and asked the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue.
Breaking his silence, Tendulkar said the authorities must take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue and ensure that credibility of the game is restored.
The champion batsman, who retired from T20 League after his side Mumbai Indians won the title recently, said as a cricketer he has always learnt to play in the true spirit of the game.
"It has always hurt me when the game of cricket is in the news for the wrong reasons. The developments in the last two weeks have been shocking and disappointing. As cricketers we are always taught to go out, fight hard, give our very best and play in the true spirit of the game," Tendulkar said in a statement.
The milestone man of Indian cricket said it was important that the authorities get to the root of the problem.
"During this difficult phase, I join every cricketer, from the boys in the maidans across the country to those who represent clubs, states and the country, who trust the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue.
"The faith reposed by the millions of fans should be justified and we owe it to them to ensure that Indian cricket is all about pride and joy," the statement added. Iconic player Sachin Tendulkar today lent his voice of concern over the "shocking and disappointing" developments that have rocked Indian cricket in the last two weeks and asked the authorities to take sincere steps to get to the root of the issue.
First Published: May 31, 2013 20:09 IST