New Delhi: Senior administrators and former players on Thursday asked the BCCI to abide by the suggestion of the Supreme Court which today made several proposals — asking N Srinivasan to step down as president and suspending IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajastha Royals.
The SC proposed the replacement of Srinivasan by former captain Sunil Gavaskar and the suspension of the two franchises from IPL 7 till the betting and spot-fixing case is over. The apex court also proposed to pass an order barring Srinvasan’s company India Cements — which holds the CSK franchise — from getting involved with BCCI functioning.
Reacting to the development, BCCI vice-president Ravi Sawant said that Srinivasan should not have been allowed to buy the Chennai Super Kings team in the IPL on the ground of conflict of interest. “The first mistake was to have allowed Srinivasan to buy Chennai Super Kings,” he said. Sawant, who is the BCCI vice-president from the West Zone, said the Board will have to act according to the Supreme Court order. “The SC has given just one day and it has said it will pass its interim order tomorrow. So there is no time to call an emergency meeting of the Board. Whatever the SC says in its order tomorrow, we will have to abide by it. There is no other way,” he added.
Former captains Rahul Dravid, Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anil Kumble said on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore that everybody will have to abide by the Supreme Court order. “The matter is subjudice. We don’t know what is exactly happening. Till the Supreme Court comes out with its order, it is not proper to comment on the issue. The Supreme Court is supreme and everybody will have to follow what it says. There is no other way,” Srikkanth said.
“It’s subjudice and we can comment only after the Supreme Court passes its order,” Dravid said. Kumble said whatever the Supreme Court orders, the Board and everybody has to follow as law-abiding citizens.
“Beyond this, I can’t comment on a matter which is subjudice. But the situation is no different for a cricketer. It’s nothing new. Whatever is happening in cricket, we can see in society also. Of course, we need to tackle this and clean up the game.”
Sawant has no answers on the proposal of the Supreme Court to replace Srinivasan by Gavaskar till the case in the IPL fixing and betting scandal is decided. “There is a procedure in the BCCI Constitution regarding the vacancy of the president. Whatever the SC has proposed… I don’t know whether it will fit with the BCCI Constitution or whether it (the SC order) will overwrite the Constitution of the BCCI.”
Former BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah felt the rot in the BCCI has gone too far and the Board will now have to clean up the game before the public loses interest in it. “It’s a bad day for BCCI. Things have gone far beyond and it will only hurt cricket a lot. But I think in the interest of cleaning up the game, may be the Supreme Court’s observations are correct. Whatever the Supreme Court decides, the BCCI will have to abide by it,” he said.
“Most BCCI members are in the dark about what has transpired in the last 7-8 days. So, the BCCI should immediately, without any further delay, call a special general body meeting and apprise all members about what has happened. And then the persons who are responsible should be taken to task. We are in a very sorry state and BCCI must immediately take bold steps to restore the tarnished image of the Board. It is now the duty of all members to get together and find out a way to restore the credibility of the Board,” he said.
Shah said it will be difficult to hold the IPL 7 if the Supreme Court bars CSK and RR from taking part in it. “There will be only six teams taking part in the IPL and it will be difficult to conduct it. The BCCI should call a special general body meeting and decide whether IPL 7 should be played or not,” Shah said.
Former treasurer Ajay Shirke blamed BCCI members for bringing the Board to such a pass. “We have to wait for the Supreme Court’s order but this is very sad. I am extremely sad to see this day dawn upon an institution which has weathered 75-odd years of ups and downs and has come up on top several times,” he said. “I think here we have a case where our president feels he is absolutely right and has done nothing wrong. That is his perception but the perception of the media and the entire world is different,” he told Times Now. “I think the members have brought this situation upon BCCI and unless they really sit down and introspect, it’s going to be very difficult. You have to put the interest of the institution above everything. There is no one who really stood up to that.”
Another vice-president Rajeev Shukla said he would comment only after the Supreme Court passed its order on Friday. “We need to wait for the Supreme Court’s final order. The Supreme Court has given some suggestions and there will be arguments on those suggestions tomorrow,” he said. “Once the court gives its final verdict, then it will be wise to comment on the matter,” he said.
Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi took to social networking site Twitter to express his dismay over the manner in which cricket has been shamed. “Heart reaches out 2 Aditya Verma fr steadfastly tkng on dictatorial Srini & coming on top! BCCI’s image touch lowest possible denominator!!” Bedi tweeted. “Fr no rhyme or reason Srini gving a bad name 2 Rhinos! Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely–bcci has bn shamed!Thx SC save CI,” he said in another tweet.
IPL should be stopped for a while, says Bapu Nadkarni
Clearly disgusted about what is happening off the cricket field, former Test allrounder Bapu Nadkarni backed suggestions by ex-BCCI chief Shashank Manohar and ousted IPL chairman Lalit Modi that the controversial and cash-awash T20 League should be stopped, at least for a while. “What is happening is not good. The cricketers are bound to be affected by all these. They have to close IPL for some time. Who is going to run it?” Nadkarni told PTI when asked to respond to the recent developments.
However, another former cricketer and ex-India captain Ajit Wadekar wanted the T20 league to continue though the Supreme Court has suggested that Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals be suspended from the tournament till betting case is disposed off.
Backing his one-time nemesis Manohar over his scathing views that the cash-rich IPL has lost some of its credibility, its former chairman Lalit Modi has stated the upcoming season of the tournament needs to be suspended to clean up the game.
“I completely agree with Mr Shashank Manohar and his observations on the fact that the serious allegations regarding betting, spot-fixing and match-fixing are (sic) all seriously tarnished the image of the game and importantly, the fans and the public at large are slowly but surely starting to lose faith in the Indian Premier League in particular and game at large,” said London-based Modi. “Given the above context and the current goings-on, I think it only right that until the faith of the people in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for the year 2014 should be suspended.”