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BCCI in conflict of everybody's interest

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 - 6:19am IST | Agency: dna

The panel, suggested by the Indian cricket board, to look into the IPL spot-fixing scandal has already run into rough weather as all the three members of the proposed committee reportedly have conflict of interest in the issue.

As the board will present their plan at the hearing on Tuesday to the Supreme Court, the latest twist may add to the already many reasons that are proving thorns in the flesh to N Srinivasan. It will also be a major boost to rival group said to be headed by Sharad Pawar.

One of the panel members, Justice Jai Narayan Patel, reportedly has admitted that "he and (interim BCCI president) Shivlal Yadav are brothers-in-law".

This has come only hours after Pawar questioned not only Justice Patel to 'come clean' on his reported links with Yadav but also questioned presence of Ravi Shastri, former India player, in the panel citing conflict of interest.

The third member in the probe panel — ex-CBI director RK Raghavan — has already been under scanner for being the secretary/owner of the Kamyuth Club, which has voting rights in the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), which is headed by Srinivasan.

So, the bigger question is why did BCCI's 24-member executive committee endorse three names, which they knew could embarrass the cricket body. The answer is not difficult to find.

According to a senior BCCI official, who was present in the meeting, the way Srinivasan camp treated former board president and "Mr Clean" Shashank Manohar "he has not seen Manohar being handled in this manner during his long stint".

"I have been part of the BCCI for more than a decade now and learnt a lot from Shashank ji . We all know how powerful he was during his stint and his image is impeccable. The way all his suggestions were ignored came as a surprise to me," said the senior BCCI official on condition of anonymity.

Given the situation, there was no other option left for Manohar and his sympathisers to go all out to oppose the proposed three-member panel during the hearing at the apex court on Tuesday.

On the other hand, this BCCI source hinted towards a complete polarisation among members in the coming days.

"Srinivasan doesn't want himself to be sidelined ahead of his upcoming term as International Cricket Council's chairman. He is convinced that it would only be possible if he gets some relief from the inquiry panel, howsoever. So, he is doing everything to stay afloat and to have a chance to head the world body," the source said.

"BCCI is all about money, we all know. But let me tell you that it's high time to probe not just Srinivasan but all the top officials associated from different regions who have made big bucks by siding with one person or the other ever since IPL has brought in big money into the game," the official added.

This was probably the reason Pawar came out openly, even during the hectic election campaign, to declare an all-out war against Srinivasan.

Even the petitioner, Cricket Association of Bihar 's Aditya Verma has announced that he will question the presence of Shastri in the inquiry panel.

"Tomorrow, the Hon'ble court will decide upon the names of the inquiry panel. The apex court gave BCCI a chance to come clean and form a 'clean panel' but the way the Board has suggested names without taking everyone in confidence, it certainly looks as if some of the members are in hurry and acting on someone's command," Verma told dna.

It must be mentioned here that the Court is expected to consider the suggestion by BCCI and pass orders on the future course.

Pawar also questioned the eligibility of Shastri to be a member of the panel because of the conflict of interest issue as the player-turned-commentator has got a financial contract with BCCI.

"Ravi is a good player. In fact, when I was BCCI chief (2005-08), we signed a contract with him and Sunil Gavaskar. So, he had a financial contract with BCCI. Now, someone says how can a person who has got a financial contract with BCCI, become part of an inquiry committee of BCCI chief?" he asked.

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