New Delhi: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)'s Snoopgate scandal took another twist after new facts emerged in the matter.
Initially, it was believed that the Indian board had hired Page Protective Services some time between 2013 and 14 to spy on `high profile individuals'.
However, a Times of India report suggests that this possibly was a counter-intelligence measure taken up my senior board officials to keep track of and negate a serious hacking threat.
Sources told the newspaper that BCCI rented an office in a posh central London hotel for this purpose.
The office was operational for around two years and activities like hacking of emails and telephone calls of important persons from India and abroad took place.
"This London office had professionals working on a 24x7 basis on laptops and computers, looking to lay their hands on any shred of data they could. And this kind of hacking wasn't restricted to just the BCCI. If this were to be thoroughly investigated, it would open a can of worms. Of course, BCCI was one of the victims," a source told TOI.
Though there is no official investigation has yet been ordered into who authorized, there could be serious implications if all details come out in the public domain.
“It goes far beyond cricket administration. If the truth comes out, there can be serious implications,“ the source added.
The UK-firm may have been contracted by the BCCI to prevent hacking threat. Some board officials may have wanted to access important information when the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case was in the Supreme Court.
Shashank Manohar formed a two-man panel to look into this Snoopgate issue. It remains to be seen what the probe panel concludes after its investigation.
"The committee has been appointed solely to protect the cricket board's interests and it cannot infer or preempt anything. Let the investigations take its own course,“ the source said.
The hacking and surveillance is also being linked to the battle between IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and former BCCI chief N Srinivasan.
“Some crucial information was leaked and there was a need to find out how. If I'm the BCCI president and you're the secretary, and I'm writing an email to you, how can it land up with someone else who wasn't marked on it? Either of us is leaking it or someone is sourcing it illegally,” said a senior cricket administrator.