As expected, the internal probe panel, set up by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), investigating allegations of corruption in the IPL, found no evidence of wrongdoing against N Srinivasan’s India Cements, Rajasthan Royals and its co-owner Raj Kundra.
The report of the two-member probe panel, comprising former judges T Jayaram Chouta and R Balasubramanian, was tabled at the BCCI’s working committee meeting in Kolkata on Sunday. As indicated by Express on Saturday, all concerned were given a clean chit. This means the decks have been cleared for Srinivasan to return as BCCI president. Following the IPL spot-fixing scandal and allegations of betting against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, he had stepped aside, saying he would not return to the chair until he was cleared of all charges.
With the probe finding nothing against the parties concerned, there is no problem for Srinivasan to reclaim the chair he had vacated on June 2. There is a small technical step in his way still and that is the IPL Governing Council meeting in New Delhi on August 2. Once the probe report is tabled in that meeting, Srinivasan is free to resume his second innings as BCCI chief.
Even though he has to wait a bit, his return to power is a mere formality. “There is no evidence of any wrongdoing against India Cements, Raj Kundra and Rajasthan Royals. The report will now be forwarded to the IPL Governing Council which will make a final decision when it meets on August 2 in New Delhi,” said BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah. He added that Srinivasan could chair the IPL Governing Council meeting.
However, was no clarity on Meiyappan’s role. It is learnt that the inquiry commission has not given him a clean chit. When asked about Meiyappan, Shah didn’t respond. The other area, which remained unclear, was the mode of the probe. It was not disclosed how it was conducted, how many people were examined or what kind of evidence the panel members sought.
When asked, a working committee member said he had no answer to these questions. “I don’t think any of the members had any clue on how the probe was conducted.” Asked about the content of the report, Balasubramanian said: “It’s strictly confidential.”