BCCI trashes report of Raina’s link to bookies

New Delhi/London: Suresh Raina on Sunday found himself at the center of an unexpected controversy when a British paper claimed that he was seen with a woman allegedly linked to bookies but the BCCI dismissed the report as “baseless”.

The London-based ‘Sunday Times’ claimed that ICC’s ACSU is probing why the BCCI kept quiet on a report from Sri Lanka Cricket that Raina was seen in the company of a woman linked to an associate of a bookie during the tour of the island nation in July-August.

Terming the report as “baseless and false”, BCCI Secretary N Srinivasan said the Cricket Board has not received any such complaint from the SLC.

“The BCCI has just learnt that several media outlets are claiming that Sri Lanka Cricket had submitted a report on Suresh Raina to it, and that no action was taken by the Board on the same,” he said in a statement.

“The BCCI would like to clarify that it has received no such report from SLC. The claims being made by a section of the media are totally baseless and false,” he said.

“They are targetting a player who is doing well for India now,” an angry Srinivasan added.

BCCI spokesperson Rajiv Shukla also termed the report as “untrue” and said the woman concerned was Raina’s agent.

“That is untrue and baseless. It’s all rubbish. No complaint had ever come to BCCI from either the ICC or SLC. BCCI had never received any complaint on this matter. Actually, the lady is Raina’s agent,” Shukla told reporters.

“Raina was with the lady to sign some papers and complete formalities. She was also agent of some Sri Lankan players. It has nothing to do with any anti-corruption matter or any matter outside cricket,” said Shukla who is also a BCCI Vice-President.

“It is just media speculation and nothing else,” he said.

According to ‘Sunday Times’, Raina on more than one night was seen in the company of a woman known to be an associate of a man allegedly linked to a bookmaker.

It said the SLC gave a report to BCCI of Raina accompanying the woman along with footages of CCTV cameras installed at the Indian team hotel in Sri Lanka.

But even SLC denied giving any such report to the ICC.

“This is news to me. There is no truth in this report,” SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said.

According to the newspaper, it is Srinivasan’s reaction that has led to the ICC investigation. Instead of acting on the report, Srinivasan is alleged to have got the Sri Lankans to withdraw it.

The 23-year-old Raina plays for Chennai Super Kings, an IPL franchise owned by Indian Cements of which Srinivasan is a vice-chairman and managing director.

The investigation, led by ACSU head Ravi Sawani is believed to be looking into why SLC shared the report with the BCCI first when under ICC anti-corruption rules it should have gone straight to the world governing body, the newspaper said quoting unnamed ICC sources.

However, the daily made it clear that Raina was not suspected of any wrongdoing.

With the heightened security concerns following the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan, the Sri Lankans deputed a former general to look after the Indian team.

An ICC spokesman, when asked about the alleged investigation into the inaction of the Indian Cricket Board, merely stated, “We don’t comment on any investigation.


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