Spot-fixing: Srinivasan still defiant, attacks media for unfair statements
Kolkata: Yet again rejecting demands for his resignation, BCCI President N Srinivasan today announced setting up of a three-member commission to go into allegations against his son-in-law and CSK Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan who has been arrested on charges of betting.
Asserting that he has done nothing wrong and that there was no revolt against him in BCCI, he made it clear that he cannot be "railroaded, pushed and threatened to quit".
"My support is complete and not one member in BCCI has asked for my resignation", he told a press conference after meetings with Board officials including IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla and Vice-President Arun Jaitley.
"I have a job and we will act strictly. I assure you, the BCCI will act without fear or favour to investigate and if player, franchise or owners have breached any rules, action will be taken", he said.
The three-member enquiry commission will consist of two members of the IPL Operations Commitee and an independent person in whose appointment he will have no role. The five members of the committee are Arun Jaitley, Rajeev Shukla, Sanjay Jagdale, Ajay Shirke and Ravi Shastri.
"Two of them along with an independent commissioner will go into charges against Meiyappan and we will abide by their report. There will be an independent person and I will await the report as much as you. I will not shirk from my duty," he said in reply to a volley of questions on what action was being proposed against Gurunath.
Srinivasan said there was no allegation against CSK as a team.
As for Gurunath, he said he did not have any role in the running of the team. He was enthusiastic and has been travelling with the team.
"What is his role, whether he transcended any rules. The Commission will deal with it. The enquiry commission will go into it. I have nothing to say, I am not going to sit and explore what his role was or was not.
"All these questions will be gone into. I have distanced myself. I will not be part of the committee or its discussions," Srinivasan said.
At the start of the press conference, he said the last few days have been difficult for the BCCI and for him as the President.
"You would appreciate that these days have also been difficult for me as father and father in law. However I sit here as BCCI President and set aside all personal feelings. I will not shirk from my duties however difficult they might be," he said.
Answering questions on how the CSK was run, he said the India Cements which owns CSK ran 10 or 12 teams in Chennai cricket league and has been supporting cricket by employing cricketers of these teams on its staff for over 50 years.
The CFO of India Cements handle the finances of the CSK and another top official of the company handled its marketing and other operations.
To a pointed question, he said "first and foremost, I am not an accused. I have done nothing wrong. What is his (Gurunath's) role...He did not have any role in the management. Let the Commission go into it. It will give the report to the Board as a whole. I will play no role. Everything will be done swiftly."
Srinivasan said there were a number of provisional sanctions to suspend or terminate franchisees under the operational rules if any one is found in breach of them.
Referring to media reports on the termination clause 11.3 in the franchise contract, he said it is for the commission to look into these allegations. Principles of natural justice will be followed and the other person has a right to fair hearing.
He said some of the news reports have gone over board in writing about the current developments and its a trial by media.
There have been vested interests and there has been a smear campaign against him. Television channels have been relentless and sometimes they were reporting "unverifiable statements" against him.
Giving an illustration, he said there were reports that there was going to be revolt against him in BCCI.
"It is completely untrue. There is complete unity. I have not been asked by anybody to resign. My support is complete. I intend to continue my duties as President".
"I have been elected to do a duty and there will be no discrimination. BCCI will act in a just and fair manner. BCCI is determined to work to justify peoples' faith in the tournament (IPL) and the BCCI," he said.
Srinivasan said the BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit report on the allegation of spot-fixing by the Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and Amit Singh will be submitted on time.
"The BCCI will continue to offer assistance to the police and if the inquries bring any suspicion on any other players" he said.
"With regard to Gurunath, the legal process has already started and he's facing police investigation. The BCCI has already taken the decision to provisionally suspend him from all activities in cricket and particularly from all involvement within CSK franchise.
"The management of the other franchise, the Rajasthan Royals will also be subject to same inquiry procedure. I am not part of this commission and I will not play any role in its appointment, deliberations or decision," he said.
He said if anyone was found in breach or liable under the operational rules, will face sanctions. "The operation rules provide a number of potential sanctions ranging from fine to suspensions and in the extreme the termination of the franchise".
Srinivasan said the BCCI was very concerned by the allegation that have been made concerning the IPl whether those relate to betting or spotfixing.
"As I've said on a number of occasions, the BCCI will act firmly and strictly if the allegations are proven. The principles of natural justice are every person has a right to hearing and to be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Srinivasan said the IPL was very important and it gave an opportunity for young Indian players to play with senior Indian and overseas players in front of capacity crowd. It helped bring a new audience to the game.
"This season over 21 lakh people bought tickets to watch matches. The IPL continues to contribute to the funds for the development of cricket in India", Srinivsan said.
"Over 200 former cricketers have received a one-time benefit. The total amount spent were over a 100 crores rupees from funds generated by the IPL.
"I do not want to minimise the problems facing the IPL. Indians have been very proud that our country has produced a league that is the envy of the world. The BCCI will take whatever steps necessary to justify the faith that the public have in the IPL and in Indian cricket," he said.
Asked to comment on former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi's demand for his resignation and scrapping of CSK franchise, Srinivasan said "I dont reply to fugitives".
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