N. Srinivasan has been named in a report on the spot-fixing scandal that has beleaguered the Indian Premier League, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. The names of 12 prominent cricketers also figure in the report. The court stressed that Srinivasan cannot perform any function within India’s cricket Board and that its interim order on March 28 will stand. On Tuesday, Srinivasan had filed an affidavit asking the court to reinstate him since he had done no wrong.
The court had removed Srinivasan as BCCI president till the IPL case was properly investigated and the guilty booked. The judges had installed batting legend Sunil Gavaskar as the interim head to manage BCCI’s IPL affairs.
The Twenty20 competition, the seventh edition of which begins in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday evening, has been embroiled in allegations of illegal betting and spot-fixing, including against Srinivasan’s son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan.
The top court also said that Sundar Raman can continue as the Chief Operating Officer of the Indian Premier League. This was on the basis of Gavaskar’s recommendation, the court informed.
The Supreme Court has asked the BCCI to respond how it will conduct a probe into the match-fixing and betting allegations. “We cannot close our eyes after having come to know about the allegations,” the two-judge bench said. The next hearing is on April 22.
Srinivasan, according to the probe report, has 12 allegations against him, with annexures to each of them. “It seems that Mr. Srinivasan has not taken the allegations seriously,” the court said.
The bench said that it is not inclined to order a CBI or SIT probe as it would sully the image of cricketers and undermine the autonomy of cricket Board. “We are not considering the SIT because we don’t want the CBI or the police or the media to throw mud on cricketers,” Justice AK Patnaik, one of the two judges, said. “Reputations of cricketers and great names are at stake. What happens to the reputation of the players who are representing the country and Indian cricketers of the future. Cricket has to be clean but institutional autonomy has to be maintained,” he added.
The Supreme Court is looking at a damning report it commissioned into wrongdoing in last year’s IPL when former Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth was caught deliberately bowling badly while playing for the Rajasthan Royals in return for thousands of dollars from bookmakers.