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BCCI President N Srinivasan offers to step aside after Supreme Court observations

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - 3:59pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk
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N Srinivasan, regarded as the world's most powerful cricket administrator, offered to step down as the BCCI president on Thursday in the wake of a fixing and betting scandal surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Earlier this week, India's highest court called on Srinivasan to leave his post at the BCCI to ensure a fair investigation into the scandal in which his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, has been indicted for illegal betting.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court put forward former India captain Sunil Gavaskar as Srinivasan's replacement and said the Chennai and Rajasthan franchises should be kept out of the IPL pending the completion of probe due to their role in the scandal.

The BCCI, whose lawyer told the court that Srinivasan was ready to step aside, has been asked to respond to the proposals on Friday.

Meiyappan was arrested in May last year by Mumbai Police probing illegal betting on the lucrative Twenty20 tournament but was later released on bail. Legal sports betting in India is confined to horse racing.

Local media claimed Meiyappan was chief executive of the Chennai Super Kings but the company that owns the IPL franchise, India Cements, said he was merely a member of team management.

Srinivasan, set to take over as chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) board in July, heads India Cements.

The scandal surfaced when former test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two other local cricketers, all playing for the Rajasthan franchise, were arrested on suspicion of taking money to concede a fixed number of runs.

Sreesanth, who had denied any wrongdoing, was subsequently banned for life by the BCCI.

Senior administrators on Thursday asked the BCCI to abide by the suggestion of the Supreme Court which made several proposals including stepping down of N Srinivasan as president and suspension of two IPL franchises.

However, ex-cricketers Rahul Dravid and Kris Srikkanth but refused to comment specifically on the Supreme Court's order, stating the matter was sub-judice.

The SC proposed the replacement of Srinivasan by former captain Sunil Gavaskar and suspension of franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from IPL 7 till the pendency of the betting and spot fixing case.

The apex court also proposed to pass an order barring India Cements officials from getting involved with the functioning of BCCI.

Reacting to the development, BCCI Vice-President Ravi Sawant said that Srinivasan should not have been allowed to buy the Chennai Super Kings team in the IPL on the ground of conflict of interest.

"The first mistake was to have allowed Srinivasan to buy Chennai Super Kings. There is conflict of interest. He should not have been allowed to buy CSK at that time," he said.

Sawant, who is the BCCI vice-president from West Zone, said the Board will have to act according to the Supreme Court order.

"The SC has given just one day and it has said it will pass its interim order tomorrow. So there is no time to call an emergency meeting of the Board. Whatever the SC says in its order tomorrow, we will have to abide by it. There is no other way," he added.

Former captains Rahul Dravid, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anil Kumble said on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore that everybody will have to abide by the Supreme Court order.

"The matter is subjudice. We don't know what is exactly happening. Till the Supreme Court comes out with its order, it is not proper to comment on the issue. The Supreme Court is supreme and everybody will have to follow what it says. There is no other way," Srikkanth said.

"It's subjudice and we can comment only after the Supreme Court passes its order," Dravid said.

Also Read: Sunil Gavaskar ready to be interim BCCI President


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