Calcutta/Chennai: Just when Narayanswamy Srinivasan was getting ready to lord it over the cricket world, all set to become the chairman of the International Cricket Council, the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mudgal committee report was released on Monday to make matters embarrassing for him.
In Chennai on Monday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president took a rather guarded approach in his response to the report, which clearly indicted his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal.
Srinivasan declined to comment. “I have not read the report,” was all he said.
Srinivasan was addressing the media in Chennai, to announce the quarterly results of the India Cements Ltd, in his capacity as its vice-chairman and managing director. The India Cements Ltd owns the Chennai Super Kings team.
Srinivasan had earlier defended Gurunath, calling him merely a “cricket enthusiast”.
Srinivasan requested reporters to confine their queries to India Cements’ financial results.
In May, 2013, just before the IPL final at Eden Gardens, the BCCI chief had tried to defend Gurunath, calling him only a “cricket enthusiast” rather than the team principal of Chennai Super Kings who was in a position to give away vital information to bookies.
He had, however, maintained that the tainted Rajasthan Royals trio of Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were “rotten eggs”.
In what was a display of brazen self defence, Srinivasan had lashed out at the media hours before the IPL VI final in Calcutta, saying that though he was in no way involved, the media were baying for his blood.
He then did what was required of him as BCCI president – he suspended Gurunath and announced a three-member committee to look into the affair. However, he reiterated that he himself would not resign and that he had the board’s backing.
“With regard to Gurunath, the legal process has started and he’s facing police investigation. The BCCI has decided to provisionally to suspend him from all activities in cricket and particularly from all involvement in the Chennai Super Kings franchise. The management of Rajasthan Royals will also be subject to the same inquiry procedure,” Srinivasan had said then.
In his son-in-law’s defence, he had said that Gurunath was “a cricket enthusiast” who used to travel with CSK.
Asked how Gurunath made it to the team dugout and the auction table, he had evaded a direct reply. However, accreditation card as an IPL franchise owner had been issued in Gurunath’s name.