Millennium Post

Spot-fixing saga turns murkier

With more skeletons tumbling out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) closet with every passing day, the least that cricket fans across the country expected out of the BCCI head N Srinivasan was an acknowledgment of the crisis and a message telling that it understands the implications of CSK CEO/Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan’s arrest. But what they got on the day of the final from Srinivasan was nothing but the old cliche – ‘I will not shrink from my duty, I have done no wrong.’
The only sensible step the IPL governing council took following Gurunath’s arrest was to remove the ‘Fair Play Award’ category from its webpage. Three players and one official featuring in the top of the list are currently cooling their heels in prison. Till now, the police hasn’t revealed any direct link between the BCCI president and betting/spot-fixing. However, it is unlikely that Srinivasan didn’t have any clue about his son-in-law Gurunath’s wrongful conducts over the years. If the principal official of a franchise gets booked for criminal offense, the reputation of the organisation takes a severe beating. Amidst such grim scenario, the owner of the said organisation should step down owing moral responsibility till the time the matter gets solved and those guilty are punished. But in Srinivasan’s case, perhaps the stakes of being the president of BCCI, the world’s richest cricket board, are too high to refuse.

As per rule 11.3 Clause C of the BCCI-IPL constitution as well as Article 2.2.1 of the BCCI constitution, CSK should not have been allowed to play in the IPL final. But in India, rules, just like promises, are meant to be broken. It seems the unknown masterminds of the entire spot-fixing saga are afraid that police investigation will blow the lid off a much larger racket and lead to more arrests. Incidentally, earlier also Srinivasan had changed rule books for his own benefit. The BCCI constitution was amended so that Srinivasan could buy a franchise, CSK, and still be able to hold a position in the organisation without violating the board’s rules. Srinivasan also allowed former India opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth to continue as chief selector despite being the brand ambassador for Chennai Super Kings. According to Wikipidia, ‘As a member of the International Cricket Council, BCCI has the authority to select players, umpires and officials to participate in international events and exercises total control over them. Without its recognition, no competitive cricket involving BCCI-contracted Indian players can be hosted within or outside the country.’ In India, ironically, the players, umpires as well as the officials indulge in spot, match-fixing.
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