Jaipur: Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) functionaries added to the swelling sympathy for tainted batsman Abhijit Kale, slamming the manner in which he was suspended before an investigation had even begun.
Kishore Rungta, who completed his term as BCCI treasurer a couple of months ago, added fuel to the raging controversy saying allegations of selectors accepting money for favours had been simmering for long and it was time a thorough probe was launched to look into the whole issue.
“There had been such murmurs (selectors taking money) for a long time and there may be much more in the allegations against Kale than what meets the eye,” Rungta said.
“A thorough investigation into this case is a must. The menace may creep into domestic cricket where players will get around Rs 35,000 per match if the proposals are approved by the working committee,” said Rungta.
“As secretary of Rajasthan Cricket Association I feel that all units too want a thorough investigation in the matter to re-establish the credibility of the selection process,” Rungta said.
“We should appoint such persons as selectors whose integrity is above board. Everyone is worried and unless the matter is investigated, including the two selectors, the credibility factor will remain suspect,” he said.
Rungta also questioned the sequence of incidents as explained by the two selectors. “How come the matter was reported late' It’s also being rumoured that not Kale but his mother had offered the money to the selectors.
“The bribe was offered separately to both selectors. The board should also look into the sources of income of both the concerned men,” Rungta remarked.
Though no complaint had been filed from any quarter, Rungta said the integrity of some selectors had been questioned in the past when two of them were found with girls in their hotel rooms.
“There were also rumours regarding selectors getting money and the then-chairman of the selection committee, Kishan Rungta, had offered his resignation,” said Kishore, a nephew of Kishan.
Also standing by Kale was Chandu Borde, an ex-Test captain and chairman of the selection committee.
Borde was critical of the BCCI for suspending Kale without giving him a chance to prove his innocence.
“Unless Kale is proved guilty of charges made by the two selectors, he cannot be punished,” Borde said from Pune.
“Unfortunately the BCCI has suspended him from first-class matches and that, too, just as the season has got underway,” Borde said. He termed the suspension as “unprecedented and totally one-sided”.