In the end, the BCCI Working Committee meeting on Monday looked more like a face-saving exercise. The much-awaited meeting stuck to its ploy of getting strict with individuals while sparing the teams.
As predicted by Express, the Board only suspended Rajasthan Royals (RR) co-owner Raj Kundra on charges of gambling. The Board had acted similarly earlier, suspending N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan for his alleged involvement in betting.
The Working Committee decided that the panel of justices T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian will probe the case of Kundra and RR. The same panel is probing Gurunath and Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
The Board was forced to call the meeting after Delhi Police claimed that Kundra, a minority (11.7 per cent) shareholder in RR, had confessed to IPL betting.
If the charges are proved, RR face the prospect of being terminated from the league and to avoid it, the franchise has already distanced itself from Kundra.
Hours after the Board’s decision to suspend him, Kundra issued a statement claiming he was being made a scapegoat and was subjected to media trial based on unproven claims. He said he will fight the decision.
The issue of penalising teams for errant owners or officials was not discussed in the meeting. IPL rules say the contract of teams can be terminated if their owners violate norms, but like CSK, RR escaped attention on this front. “Rajasthan Royals’ role in the issue is being looked into but without getting hold of the facts, we don’t want to frighten anybody,” said caretaker president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Sources said there was no talk in the meeting to punish teams. BCCI’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit Chief Ravi Sawani was present at the meeting and his report on cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila was handed over to the disciplinary committee. After studying the report, which has not been opened, the committee will issue a chargesheet to the players.
The BCCI has proposed corrective measures to cleanse the IPL. There have been suggestions for jammers to be installed at venues to prevent communication between players and bookies. full coverage: P14