Board of Control for Cricket in India president N Srinivasan addressed a press conference on Sunday, clarifying his stance on the betting allegations levelled against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and his possible resignation. Meiyappan was suspended by the BCCI for all cricket-related activities on Sunday morning.
Over the past few days there have been calls for Srinivasan to resign on moral grounds. "I have not been asked by anybody in the board to resign and it is wrong on the part of the media to suggest so. My support in the Board is complete and I have not contemplated resignation. I will not shirk from my duties however difficult they may be," said Srinivasan.
"The last few days have been difficult for the BCCI and me as the president of the board. The Board will act without fear or favour and punish any player or official that have breached IPL or BCCI regulations," said Srinivasan. He also added that the report on the spot-fixing trio (Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan) would be issued on time.
"However we have set up an independent commission to probe in to allegations against concerned players and officials, including Gurunath Meiyappan" he added. (Watch: BCCI will act firmly and justly if allegations are proven)
Srinivasan also clarified that he will play no role in the disciplinary commission to avoid a conflict of interest. "I will await the findings of this commission as much as you. I will have no rule to play in this enquiry." The 3-member disciplinary commission will consist of two members from the BCCI and one independent person. The 2 members of the BCCI will be from among Arun Jaitley, Rajiv Shukla, Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke.
Srinivasan also sought to clarify the role of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in the Chennai Super Kings franchise. "He is enthusiastic about the team and travels with them," he said. "However a commisssion has been set up to determine whether he (Gurunath) has flouted any IPL rules and regulations."
The IPL has come under tremendous scrutiny during the past few weeks with spot-fixing and betting allegations levelled against some players and officials involved in the league. "The BCCI will take steps to restore faith in the BCCI," said Srinivasan. "Also there has been no allegations against Chennai Super Kings as a team."
Srinivasan went on to defend the IPL, saying it was good for Indian cricket. "IPL has been very good for cricket. It brings young and seasoned cricketers together and a lot of revenue. Over 200 former cricketers have received a one-time benefit and new stadiums have come up with world-class infrastructure," he added.
Srinivasan had earlier suggested he would not be bulldozed in to submitting his resignation. "It was a trial by media for me. One channel gave five reasons why I should go, one another will give six," he said. "I am not anti media but I feel that a relentless attack has been carried out on me."
Srinivasan said the BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit report on the allegation of spot-fixing by the Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, Ajit Chandila and Amit Singh will be submitted on time.
"The BCCI will continue to offer assistance to the police and if the inquries bring any suspicion on any other players" he said.
"The management of the other franchise, the Rajasthan Royals will also be subject to same inquiry procedure. I am not part of this commission and I will not play any role in its appointment, deliberations or decision," he said.
He said if anyone was found in breach or liable under the operational rules, will face sanctions. "The operation rules provide a number of potential sanctions ranging from fine to suspensions and in the extreme the termination of the franchise".
"This season over 21 lakh people bought tickets to watch matches. The IPL continues to contribute to the funds for the development of cricket in India", Srinivsan said.
"Over 200 former cricketers have received a one-time benefit. The total amount spent were over a 100 crore rupees from funds generated by the IPL.
"I do not want to minimise the problems facing the IPL. Indians have been very proud that our country has produced a league that is the envy of the world. The BCCI will take whatever steps necessary to justify the faith that the public have in the IPL and in Indian cricket," he said.
Asked to comment on former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi's demand for his resignation and scrapping of CSK franchise, Srinivasan said "I don't reply to fugitives".
On Saturday night, under pressure to resign from his position as chief of the BCCI, N. Srinivasan was said "great spirits" at a lavish dinner party thrown by former Board chief and the Cricket Association of Bengal boss, Jagmohan Dalmiya on Saturday night. In the party attended by almost all top BCCI members - with the exception of Arun Jaitley - sources said that Srinivasan showed no signs of anxiety and was in great mood.
(With PTI inputs)