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The cat is out of the bag

The cat is out of the bag
Highlights

On the face of it, they have far- reaching and damning ramifications although it is not yet known which way the ‘punishment’ could possibly go. Despite the fact that the entire murky issue of spotfixing, in which players, bookies and co-own- ers were hand-in-glove, has harmed the nation’s reputation,

Most significant development is that SC revealed name of N Srinivasan in spotfixing issue who claimed all along that he was not under any probe

On the face of it, they have far- reaching and damning ramifi- cations although it is not yet known which way the ‘punishment’ could possibly go. Despite the fact that the entire murky issue of spot-fixing, in which players, bookies and co-own- ers were hand-in-glove, has harmed the nation’s reputation, what the Supreme Court delivered on Friday comes as an anti-climax in the sense that it has asked for making public names of non-cricketers allegedly involved in the shady episode.

One is wondering why names of the cricketers are being kept under wraps when the nation’s im- age is paramount given that no player is greater than the game itself. However, the most significant de- velopment is that the apex court revealed the name of N Srinivasan, whose steadfast defence all along had been that he was not being probed.

With the Court making it abundantly clear that the Tamil Nadu strongman was indeed being investigated there is bound to be a show of strength wherein his loyal- ists (there is no dearth of the reported beneficiaries and sycophants) will express solidarity with their ‘man for all seasons’. The scathing observation made by the judge that some individuals per- formed their duties under question- able ‘compulsions’ is indicative of the machinations of the vested in- terests, who were least bothered if the gentleman’s game had become the butt of global ridicule.

After all, as the Big Brother, Srinivasan, and his Yes men wielded money power that was too lucrative for anyone to turn the other way. The question is not whether Srinivasan himself was actively involved in the fixing and betting aspects, but whether the villains of the piece were indulging in the act without his knowledge.

It does not need erudition to draw conclusions. By magnanimously announcing that he would step aside from the post of President of the BCCI dur- ing its turbulent period and till his name was cleared, Srinivasan made more friends, particularly former cricketers who depended on him for plum post-retirement posts.

By giving four days time to the Board, Srinivasan and other non-play- ers who have been named, the court has given enough leeway for them to prepare their counters, which anyway would have been made ready by the ‘guilty’ parties as a precautionary measure in the un- fortunate event of the worst be- falling them. The biggest impact has been on the long overdue annual general meeting of BCCI, which was to decide the dates for electing the new body.

The court is to decide on the issue on November 24. Srinivasan's plans to take the East Zone route to the top BCCI post has backfired with CAB (Cricket Association of Bengal) putting the onus on BCCI Vice-President Arun Jaitley. As it is, the incumbent panel is living on borrowed time and within the next few days al- most all the members would tech- nically cease to exist as office- bearers. The question is who will hold charge as India prepares for 2015 World Cup

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