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Home» Opinion» Politics» Sunny days still far cry for indian cricket

‘Sunny’ days still far cry for Indian cricket

V.N. Balakrishna | March 31, 2014, 12:19 PM IST
sunny days still far cry for indian cricket

Ahmedabad : "We can’t fix our country, we can’t fix our leader, we can’t fix our system. Finally our boys fixed something and the entire world is up in arms. Stop it you fools...” said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistani High Commissioner to the United Kingdom after spot-fixing scandal broke out in 2010.

 “The court did not penalise any teams or players. This judgment is for cricket lovers. We do not want to suspend any team or player at this stage before the IPL,” the Supreme Court said last Friday. What message does this send for “cricket lovers”? Like Hasan’s “… our boys fixed something….” Let fixers continue?

What the interim order means for IPL team owners is that they can continue betting in IPL Season 7 when it starts in the UAE on April 16 —the same day when final hearing is scheduled. For the BCCI honchos it was cause to celebrate. “I welcome the stand of the Supreme Court as it has not tampered with BCCI structure nor suspended CSK and RR,” said Rajiv Shukla, vice-president.

IPL has come to symbolize naked corruption leaving administrators, players and team owners tainted. IPL spot-fixing roots go straight to the underworld in Dubai. With the Supreme Court naming ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar and board vice president Shivlal Yadav as interim heads replacing Srinivasan is this the panacea India was waiting for to see sunny days ahead?

BCCI, which controls IPL hen that lays golden eggs, too had lost credibility when former Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar named Raj Kundra, one of the owners of Rajasthan Royals, placing bets of Rs 1 crore over three IPL seasons matches. Kundra’s business partner Umesh Goenka also recorded a statement under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (which makes it admissible as evidence in court)  that he placed bets on behalf of co-owner Shilpa Shetty on one match.

When Mudgal panel indicted CSK’s team principal Gurunath Meiyappan it was expected the Supreme Court would enunciate quickly a "Zero Tolerance Policy" towards CSK, RR and others. This was what Cricket Association of Bihar's lawyer Harish Salve pleaded for when he sought a radical overhaul of the BCCI by accusing Captain Dhoni of making false statements to Justice Mudgal committee.

Dhoni's “false statements” claiming sole responsibility for Chennai Super Kings’ team selection and maintaining that Meiyappan never sat on any of the team meetings or was part of any strategy sessions raises several disturbing questions. The rot indeed has gone deep.

Nilay Dutta, a member of Mudgal panel, asked to respond to Salve's charge that Dhoni lied, said, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. It is for the Supreme Court to decide. The (Dhoni) tapes are with the SC."

Those who wish to see Augean stables of cricket cleaned will wonder what the apex court meant by saying, “no employee of India Cements, except players and commentators, will be allowed to get involved in any activities of BCCI” when Dhoni — with Mudgal panel’s needle of suspicion pointing at him — is both vice president of India Cements and captain of CSK team.

Srinivasan, in or out of BCCI, commands clout as can be seen when an internal probe last year said he or his CSK was not involved directly or indirectly in “betting” or “spot-fixing.” Clearly the SC letting CSK and RRs off the hook means “no end game” for Srinivasan.

Bringing Shivlal Yadav, a confidant of Srinivasan, for taking care of non-IPL affairs of BCCI at best is only a palliative. One of the tasks Srinivasan entrusted Yadav was to chair working committee meeting of the BCCI when his mother passed away early this year.

Srinivasan will grow stronger when he gets the International Cricket Council cap after ICC Board approved him as its first chairman from July 2014. Most BCCI board members too feel Srinivasan deserves it.

Surprisingly, a Goan astrologer predicted Srinivasan’s fall saying “cricket will be the biggest beneficiary as it will bring a new set of administrators.”

If astrology is right will justice finally nail the culprits?


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