Gavaskar could replace N Srinivasan as BCCI chief, suggests Supreme Court
NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court has said it will pass an order on the spot-fixing and betting scandal on Friday and has proposed that former India captain Sunil Gavaskar could take over as the interim chief of the Indian cricket Board or BCCI in place of the embattled N. Srinivasan.
It has also suggested that Indian Premier League teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals should not be part of the seventh season beginning from April 16, as they are being investigated in the case. Both teams are former champions, with Chennai winning it twice. The Supreme Court bench also wants no one associated with Srinivasan’s company India Cements to be part of the BCCI or the IPL. India Cements owns CSK and it also employs Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sunder Raman, the man who runs IPL. Srinivasan is the Managing Director of Indian Cements.
The Supreme Court, which on Tuesday wanted N. Srinivasan to step down as BCCI president to ensure a fair probe into the IPL betting and match-fixing scandal, made no decision on Srinivasan, whose son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan of Chennai Super Kings has been indicted for betting and sharing team information.
The court, after hearing all the arguments on Thursday, suggested that Chennai and Rajasthan should not be part of the IPL. The apex court is expected to issue a final order on April 16, the day the IPL is scheduled to start in the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, the petitioner’s counsel told the Supreme Court that Dhoni is guilty of giving false statement to the Justice Mukul Mudgal inquiry committee. Harish Salve, who is representing petitioner Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar, told the two-judge bench that Dhoni called Meiyappan “an enthusiast” and not a team official of Chennai Super Kings.
The involvement of Meiyappan in the illegal betting case was proved by a court-appointed committee last month. The committee had been set up by the Supreme Court in October last year. Earlier this week, the court slammed Srinivasan’s “nauseating” refusal to resign while allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing involving his son-in-law are investigated.
The petitioner also called for Chennai and Rajasthan’s suspension because as per IPL franchise agreement, their officials had brought shame to the world’s richest T20 League. Rajasthan co-owner Raj Kundra is also under the betting and match-fixing scanner. Earlier on Thursday, the BCCI offered a compromise solution. The Board’s lawyers said Srinivasan would “step aside” to ensure a fair probe. Offering a time-bound inquiry to be conducted by the Chennai police, the Board requested the court not to curtail Srinivasan’s hefty role in international cricket.
The BCCI’s lawyers requested the judges to let the Board hold its own inquiry as recommended by the Mudgal report. “We will have to think hard for the benefit of cricket and then pass the order,” the Supreme Court bench said.