With news emerging that the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is to be reviewed by the 'Big Three', it is more less clear that the game's watchdog will now be controlled by India, England and Australia. It is also rumoured that the independent body will report directly to N Srinivasan, who is tipped to take over as ICC chairman in July. In other words, the ICC wants its anti-graft mechanism to be under the control of a man who has been sidelined by the Supreme Court following serious allegations of corruption in the IPL.
This is what the ICC board decided in its meeting in Dubai last month, thereby paving the way for Srinivasan and three others, including ICC chief executive Dave Richardson, to compile a report and finalise the timeline for its implementation.
Aditya Verma, who is leading the crusade against Srinivasan, has now raised strong objections. "According to the ICC rules, if any player is suspected to have committed an illegal act, the ACSU is supposed to probe the matter. But in Srinivasan's case, the ICC has not summoned him or any other person named by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee," Verma said on Wednesday.
This newspaper has learnt that a proposal was pushed at the Dubai meeting for a dramatic reduction in the size of the central ACSU in favour of closer links between the anti-corruption teams of full member nations (Test-playing countries).
"It is common knowledge that Srinivasan's name figures in that sealed envelope submitted by the Mudgal Committee. Instead of punishing its president, it is very surprising that the BCCI filed an affidavit and appealed to the court to not open the envelope. This certainly raises questions over the functioning of the BCCI as well as the ICC. After corrupting the Indian board, Srinivasan will try and do the same to the world body," said Verma. "If the ICC or BCCI doesn't react quickly, I will be left with no other option but to plead before the court to stop Srinivasan from taking over as ICC chairman."
It may be noted that Srinivasan, in his affidavit in the court, assured that he will not be interfering in BCCI affairs till the probe concludes. But when it came to attending ICC's meeting on April 9 and 10 in Dubai, he went there as the BCCI's representative.
Though, the apex court ruling on the appointment of the Justice Mudgal Committee panel is expected in a day or two, Verma and his lawyers are contemplating moving a separate application in the court seeking a direction to stop Srinivasan from taking over as ICC's next chairman in the wake of ongoing investigation. "The post of ICC chairman is for BCCI and not for an individual. Is there no one capable in our cricket board to lead ICC?" asked Verma. The ball is now in the Supreme Court!