New Delhi/Mumbai/Srinagar, May 28: Calls for Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N. Srinivasan’s resignation just got stronger amidst revelations by Delhi Police that fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim allegedly had links to the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing scandal.
The suspected links with mafia were confirmed by Delhi Police, who told a Delhi court that the IPL spot fixing scandal was allegedly linked to fugitive underworld don Dawood as bookie Ashwini Aggarwal alias Tinku Mandey was in touch with him and his aides.
The court also rejected Rajasthan Royals cricketer Ankeet Chavan’s plea seeking bail to get married June 2 and along with him sent co-accused Sreesanth and Ajit Chandila to judicial custody till June 4.
Along with Sreesanth and Chandila, the court also sent two bookies Ashwini Aggarwal and Chandresh Patel to judicial custody till June 4.
Meanwhile, puncturing Srinivasan’s claims that no board member has asked him to resign, Jyotiraditya Scindia, a union minister and an influential board member, asking the board chief to step aside pending the enquiry into his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s links with spot fixing.
Gurunath, who is in the custody of Mumbai police, was also the chief executive of Chennai Super Kings, owned by Srinivasan-headed India Cements.
Scindia became the second highly influential member of the BCCI after its former president Inderjit Singh Bindra to call for Srinivasan’s resignation.
Srinivasan, however, got support from another BCCI colleague Farooq Abdullah, who went to the extent of saying that betting should be legalised in India.
“Tomorrow, if my son-in-law is found involved in something why should I be blamed,” Abdullah, also the union renewable energy minister, said when asked if Srinivsan should resign.
Scindia, chairman of BCCI’s finance committee, however, strongly felt that Srinivasan should step aside until the investigations reached a conclusive end.
“Let me say this that I, for not even a moment, am assuming or saying that anyone is guilty. But considering the environment that is around cricket today, considering the fact that we do need to cleanse the sport in every single meaning of the word, I do believe that it would be in the fitness of things if Mr. Srinivasan did step aside until this matter reached a conclusive end in terms of an inquiry,” Scindia, son of former BCCI president late Madhavrao Scindia, told Times Now.
Scindia, who is also on the disciplinary committee that is probing former IPL chairman Lalit Modi, said Srinivasan, whose term expires in September, can come back and take over after his son-in-law is absolved of all the charges.
“If he and his family members, or rather his son-in-law, is absolved, then surely he can come back. But considering the environment that cricket is in today, I do think that if you combine the fact of a conflict of interest and his own family member being involved in an ongoing investigation, it is in the fitness of things and more from a spirit point of view and propriety point of view, I do believe that he should step aside,” said Scindia in Delhi.
Meanwhile, India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, during a press conference in Mumbai, was bombarded with a volley of questions on spot fixing but he evaded them all with a smile.
Dhoni was also asked if he personally knew Vindoo Dara Singh, but he answered with a smile as a board official seated next to the India captain said “next question please.”
Vindoo, who is in the custody of Mumbai police, was often pictured with Dhoni’s wife Sakshi, cheering for Super Kings during the IPL matches.
Dhoni was also asked why was he keeping mum and skipped two pre-match press conferences during the IPL and also if the spot fixing scandal will have any affect on the players in the Champions Trophy, but he chose to ignore them all.
Dhoni also refused to answer when asked if fans can have faith in the Indian team in the Champions Trophy in the midst of the scandal.
A Mumbai court Tuesday extended till May 31 the police custody of Vindoo.
Additional Metropolitan Magistrate A.M. Padwad also granted similar extension of police custody of bookie Prem Taneja and hawala operator Alpesh Patel, who were arrested in the same case.
The BCCI also set-up a three member panel that includes board secretary Sanjay Jadgale to probe Gurunath’s role and also if Indian Cements, owners of Chennai Super Kings and Jaipur IPL Pvt Ltd, owners of Rajasthan Royals, had a role in spot-fixing.
The other two members of the commission are T. Jayaram Chouta, former judge of the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu High Courts and R. Balasubramanian, former judge of the Tamil Nadu High Court.