The internecine war within the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) again spilled out into the open with its general secretary Gokaraju Rangaraju refuting allegations of misappropriation of funds and contesting the the jurisdiction of government agencies over its affairs.
Amidst reports that he fled from Vijayawada fearing arrest by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Gokaraju presented himself before the media Saturday and said there was no need for him to run away. “I saw some TV channels airing news on Friday that I had run away from Vijayawada. I do not have to run away. The allegations are baseless,” he said.
The ACB had registered a case against Gokaraju following a complaint that he misappropriated funds when he was president of the ACA during 2007-11.
Gokaraju said the ACA is funded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and therefore does not come under the control of the government. The BCCI funds ACA to the tune of about R 20 crore every year for development of infrastructure and hosting cricket matches in the Andha and Rayalaseema regions. State entities such as the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) or any other government agency have no jurisdiction over ACA, he implied.
However, he said he wanted the ACB inquiry into the case to be over as early as possible. “We are waiting for an early conclusion of the ACB inquiry into allegations levelled by a suspended member of the ACA,” he said.
Gokaraju said: “I hail from a respectable family, and there is no need for me to to commit irregularities. There were no incidents of cricket players being selected on the basis of recommendations. The Andhra team won five championships in south India in different age groups during the last one year,” he said.
“I was the captain of the Andhra University team for three years and I was elected as the general secretary of the Krishna District Cricket Association because of my career background, he pointed out.