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BCCI remains in conflict with everybody's interest

Tuesday, 22 April 2014 - 9:50am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna

Barely 24 hours after the BCCI proposed a three member panel to the Supreme Court to probe the IPL Spot-fixing scandal, question have emerged over the conflict of interest of all the three memebers

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.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will present their panel to the Supreme Court at the hearing on Tuesday and the latest twist may add to the already many reasons that are proving thorns in the flesh for 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 asked Justice Patel to 'come clean' on his reported links with Yadav. The former board president also questioned the presence of Ravi Shastri, former India player currently contracted with the board, in the panel.

The third member in the probe panel — ex-CBI director RK Raghavan — has already been under scanner as he is the secretary/owner of the Kamyuth Club affiliated with 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 on Sunday, the way Srinivasan's camp treated former board president and "Mr Clean" Shashank Manohar "he has not seen Manohar being treated in this manner during his long stint".

"I have been part of the BCCI for more than a decade and learnt a lot from Shashank ji . We all know how powerful he was 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 will be no option for Manohar and his sympathisers but to go all out against the panel during the hearing.

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

"Srinivasan doesn't want 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.

The official added, "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."

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.

The apex 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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