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Sourav on Mudgal panel

Sourav Ganguly

Calcutta: In what is being seen as further recognition of his ability to read the game excellently, Sourav Ganguly has been picked by Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal to join the panel, which is probing the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal, as an expert on cricketing affairs.

Sourav was one of the former captains who deposed before the Mudgal panel during its first innings, and, obviously, made an impression.

The panel is headed by Justice Mudgal and includes advocates L. Nageswar Rao, Niloy Dutta and senior IPS officer BB Misra.

India’s most successful Test captain till he was overtaken by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sourav retired from International cricket in 2008, but played the IPL till 2012.

He commands immense respect from the fraternity, has an awesome reputation as far as integrity is concerned and his sharp knowledge about cricketing affairs will be an asset to the Mudgal panel.

After Indian cricket was rocked by the fixing scandal in 2000, it was under Sourav’s leadership that the team galvanised into a formidable outfit, reaching the 2003 World Cup final.

The Supreme Court, while entrusting the panel with the responsibility of conducting further probe into the IPL scandal on May 16, had left it to Justice Mudgal to appoint a former cricketer of repute and integrity in consultation with Misra.

Speaking to the media in New Delhi, on Sunday, Justice Mudgal said: “We had requested Sourav Ganguly to join the IPL probe panel and he has agreed to join us in the investigations. I had telephoned Sourav and he has confirmed about coming on board. We haven’t yet decided on the day when we will meet.”

“Since our committee member L. Nageswar Rao was not present today (Sunday), we couldn’t fix the date of our next meeting. We will let you know when the committee meets next,” he added.

Sourav is currently involved in television commentary and also writes columns. Justice Mudgal said that he will be allowed to carry on with his media commitments.

“He is absolutely free to carry on with his media commitments. His job is to help us with the cricketing angle in the whole issue and it does not stop him from doing commentary and writing columns,” Mudgal said.

The two-member Supreme Court bench of Justices AK Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla had asked the panel to submit its probe report by the end of August and had posted the matter for further hearing in September.

The Mudgal panel was appointed by the apex court in October last year to probe the IPL scandal.

The panel submitted its report to the Supreme Court in February earlier this year. They had also submitted a sealed cover containing 13 names, which will be the focus of the probe this time.