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Who owns CSK, Mr Srinivasan?

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Sadly, a 'cricket enthusiast' will be missing from the Indian Premier League's next round of auctions in Bengaluru on Wednesday and Thursday.

This, because India Cement owner N Srinivasan will finally be entrusting the job to pick players for his team Chennai Super Kings to one of its co-owners and not to his powerful son-in-law, who was calling the shots all these six years because of his "pure passion" for cricket.

Forget what Justice Mukul Mudgal report concluded after talking to many cricketers and journalists. Forget what Mumbai Police's initial report submitted to high court contains. Forget that Vindoo Dara Singh and Meiyappan have been named in the betting scandal.

Remember just one thing —the gentleman's game has lost its 'enthusiast' just because unseemly, unnecessary questions were raised about the ownership of Team CSK.

India and the CSK skipper Dhoni is one such fan of this 'avid enthusiast' and that's why he candidly defended Meiyappan while deposing before Justice Mudgal Committee on January 6, 2014.

However, Dhoni and Srinivasan, together, cannot erase all those hours and hours of television footage which clearly show that Meiyappan was indeed the man in-charge of CSK.

So the big question is what is the way forward for a team whose 'cricket enthusiast' has been indicted by a Supreme Court appointed committee in the betting scandal?

Former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, who was instrumental in forming rules and regulations for teams and players, has a clear cut solution.

"According to clause 11.3 of the IPL franchise rules, CSK faces immediate termination," Modi tweeted. "Dhoni is also involved in the cover-up. Nothing moves in IPL and Chennai Super Kings without Srinivasan, and he has his men planted in every franchisee.

Srinivasan has gagged every player, every BCCI official," his subsequently tweeted.

Justice Mudgal is of the view that Meiyappan was accredited/authorised (though implicit at times) by the franchise owner i.e. India Cements, to participate and be present when various crucial decisions were taken in relation to CSK.

The committee is of the opinion that Meiyappan formed an integral part of CSK and most persons viewed him as the face of the team. Though the de-jure ownership vests with India Cements, the committee finds that Meiyappan was in fact acting as a team official if not as its defacto owner.

Dhoni's CSK teammate Mike Hussey claimed the same in his book "Underneath the Southern Cross", which he later disassociated from and is now amongst top IPL players' auction list.

"Our owner was India Cements headed by Mr. Srinivasan. As he was also on the board of the BCCI, he gave control of the team to his son-in-law Mr. Gurunath. He ran the team along with Kepler Wessels, who was coach, and I assure one of the reasons I chose to play for them," his book excerpts stated.

Is it just the tip of the iceberg?

Of course, a clear and thorough probe is needed, as suggested by Justice Mudgal, to get to the bottom of what's happening in IPL teams.

For now, keep missing the "enthusiast" along with millions of cricket followers.

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