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Body-blow to Srini

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Precisely three days after the lobby headed by N Srinivasan and his sycophants went into a celebratory mood comes the biggest bombshell yet. News that...

Precisely three days after the lobby headed by N Srinivasan and his sycophants went into a celebratory mood comes the biggest bombshell yet. News that the Mumbai Police are to file a chargesheet in the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scam that shamed the country is sending shivers down the spines of the administrators in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Apparently, it is in a panicky mode.

By naming the Gurunath Meiyappan, former CEO of two-time champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK), along with 20 other accused, the police chargesheet comes in stark contrast to the ban slapped on four cricketers from Rajasthan Royals. The Mumbai cops are to nail the lies of Srinivasan. Meiyappan getting charged with alleged cheating and gambling, along with others like Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf and actor Vindu Dara Singh comes as a major blow to Srinivasan who is seeking a year’s extension at the helm.

Earlier, the BCCI did everything in its might to alter the public mindset by banning S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan for life and Siddharth Trivedi and Amit Singh for considerably lesser periods. This exposed the Board’s double standard. Although a ban on players ‘found’ guilty of fraud of varying proportions augurs well when the authorities are on a cleansing drive, many questions pertaining to the notorious spot-fixing menace remain unanswered. Looking back at the ‘verdict’ delivered on Friday the 13th, it is safe to assume that the panel has acted arbitrarily and in haste, which indicates that it wanted to ‘frame’ a couple of individuals this way or that. It is rather ironical that the Board has functioned as an independent body even as the case was pending in the courts and a chargesheet was filed in July.

The way the ban was slapped indicates that there was no investigation into the related crimes that surfaced. Co-owner of Rajasthan Royals Raj Kundra admitted to betting crores of rupees in the sixth edition of IPL. He and Meiyappan were arrested on charges of betting but were given a clean chit by a two-member panel, whose credentials were as dubious as the probe that was conducted. The Bombay High Court declared that the clean chit was null and void as it ‘was overwhelmingly partisan’ in nature.
The unfortunate irony is that Indian law has nothing concrete against those involved in betting and match-fixing. History proves that such ‘tough stances’ have little or no bearing on the players with a criminal steak. The match-fixing episode maligned the sport and pushed it to its worst phase. The game, no doubt, has survived the bolt from the blue. However, most of the players who were ostensibly given a fitting punishment are walking tall as politicians, commentators, experts, businessmen et al. When the spot-fixing scandal first surfaced, the ICC banned three Pakistan players only after a full-fledged professional investigation declared them guilty. They were jailed only later. Perhaps, a ‘non-partisan’ BCCI should take a leaf out of the ICC precedent if cricket and national interests are paramount.
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