The Supreme Court has said it will pass an order on the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing and betting scandal and has proposed that former India captain Sunil Gavaskar to take over as the interim chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in place of its embattled president N. Srinivasan. I wish the Supreme Court really does something concrete to make sure that the Nation’s pluralist fabric doesn’t get torn away by fundamentalist forces. The Court stands like a dummy most of the time when it comes to upholding some recital stand. The court suggested that Indian Premier League teams Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) should not be part of the seventh season beginning in the United Emirates on April 16, as they are being investigated in the case. Both teams are former champions, with Chennai winning the IPL twice. The Supreme Court bench has also proposed that no one associated with Srinivasan’s company India Cements should be part of the BCCI. India Cements owns CSK and it also employs Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sunder Raman, the man who runs the IPL. Srinivasan is the Managing Director of Indian Cements. The court has asked the Board to reply to its proposals on Friday.
BCCI is a registered society under Societies Act. Company Law or any other such laws are not applicable to it. Best said – it is just equal to a residents Association and Supreme Court cannot interfere and remove office bearers in the fashion it likes. I do not understand under what provisions of law they want to drop CSK and RR from the next series. Further, it will be in the interest of all, if Supreme Court restricts its jurisdiction in this matter only to see whether any one has been unduly benefited in the match fixing scam. People have faith in the Supreme Court’s judgement but this type of intervention might hurt its credibility.
On Tuesday, the court had said that N. Srinivasan should step down as BCCI president to ensure a fair inquiry into the IPL betting and match-fixing scandal and had given the Board two days to respond. The two-judge bench slammed what it called Srinivasan’s “nauseating” refusal to resign while allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing involving his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan an official of the CSK, are being investigated. A final order is expected on April 16, the day IPL 7 is scheduled to start. Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, will clash with Kolkata Knight Riders in the first match at Abu Dhabi.
Let’s assume the court is cleaning up cricket. In the process, one hope it doesn’t end up sullying its own reputation. The Apex court has sought BCCI’s reply, fine. But how can it give suggestions like whom to be appointed as its Chairman? Secondly, barring two teams alone would not fit the bill. The entire estate of IPL is questionable. It has been proved time and again that the IPL is abetting the various offences like spot-fixing and betting; it is a major deterrent to poor performance of Indian team players in other formats of this game. As we all are aware, the weaknesses of Indian cricket are poor show in foreign soil, regionalism, incompetence in domestic pitches in non- conformity to International standards and many more in the list. To save the sanctity of this Gentleman’s game, the entire event should be shredded and in its place, test cricket should be more promulgated with sweeping away the issues. Still could not understand how court could propose a “name” to head a “private” body which plays for our country.
Moreover, don’t think barring CSK and RR from playing IPL will do any good. Instead, court should order MS Dhoni, Vice President of India Cements not to play IPL-7 because he may have some “vested” interests. Cricket in India is poised to clear its web with the support of Supreme Court. Likewise, people’s court in the country has to usher in corrupt-free government in the forthcoming election. IPL may be allowed to make a comeback next year but with a complete overhaul of its structure. The next question is about the players named in Justice Mudgal’s report. What will happen to them if they are real big shots? It will be a throwback to late 90s and early 2000s for Indian cricket and much of the hard work done by stalwarts like Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble, Sehwag et al will be undone.
The question remains here, why is the Supreme Court in the business of governing? SC is involving itself in everything which is the business of the government. It is almost like Government does not exist in India. What about, many politicians and billionaires who are also involved in scams? Why the opposition parties are not protesting against the government when they are not doing their work properly? Why should N. Srinivasan be the only person to face the shame? Did Gavaskar tell the judge privately about his desire or availability? If Gavaskar has any self-respect and feels for cricket, he should not accept the suggestion and should refuse in order to correct the mistake in haste, with all due respect to the courts, made by the Judiciary. Though it is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has to waste it’s time on what is essentially a private entertainment venture by a body claiming to be the official representative of a Non-Olympic sport. The paying public is attending these matches for their entertainment quotient and to surmise that they have been cheated as a result of betting is akin to a cinema goer’s disappointment at spending for good movie to see a non- entertaining movie.
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