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Shashank Manohar wants IPL vii to be suspended

- ‘Thorough probe needs to be done by the CBI’
Shashank Manohar

Dhaka: Shashank Manohar, Narayanswamy Srinivasan’s predecessor as the Board president, has come out with a rare public statement.

And, it’s high on ammunition.

Ten months after telling The Telegraph that he favoured all matches in IPL VI being probed, “possibly even by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),” Manohar has publicly called for just that.

That’s not all.

Manohar, who set out to clean the IPL, in 2010, has questioned the decision to schedule the first 20 matches of IPL VII in the UAE.

Talking to this Reporter from his residence in Nagpur, late on Wednesday, Manohar said: “I’ve come out with things I feel very strongly about. It matters little whether others in the Board support my views or not.”

Manohar added: “As you know, I’ve never looked at the numbers.”

Excerpts from Manohar’s statement...

“The Supreme Court’s observation is that there are very, very serious allegations made in the (Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal probe committee) report and, unless the BCCI president steps down, no fair probe can be conducted...

“Long back, when the scandals broke, I had said that all the IPL matches should be investigated. I feel that a thorough probe needs to be done by the CBI as the canvas of the activities extends throughout the country...

“In view of the serious allegations, regarding betting, spot-fixing and match-fixing, the public at large has lost faith in the IPL matches...

“Considering the latest developments, it is my considered opinion that until the faith of the public in the integrity of the game is restored, the IPL tournament for 2014 should be suspended...

“What has been lately revealed could well be the tip of the iceberg. All the IPL matches should first be investigated and only then can a clean-up be initiated and the erring parties be punished...

“The members should remind themselves that money/profits is neither the aim nor the objective of the BCCI. The primary duty is to promote a clean game of cricket...

“Many years back, a conscious decision was taken by the BCCI to abstain from matches in the Middle East, in view of certain information regarding rampant betting and match-fixing...

“As far as I know, that decision has not been revoked...

“Due to the upcoming elections to the Lok Sabha, the decision to shift (20) IPL matches to the Middle East will further tarnish its image...

“Cricket is the most popular sport in India and enjoys a dedicated viewership of millions. If the faith is not restored, the BCCI would be failing the public.”