New Delhi: In the backdrop of a spot-fixing scandal that rocked IPL, Sports Minister Ajay Maken on Wednesday said the BCCI should probe the root cause of the problem and suggested that the body should de-link itself from running the cash-rich Twenty20 league to avoid "overlapping of interests".
"As I have said, the BCCI should go into the root cause of the problem. They have to handle the investigation because BCCI is recognised by the ICC to run cricket in India. It is their mandate and their duty. They are foremost responsible," Maken told reporters.
"Suspending five players is not enough. BCCI must come up with a long-term solution for this problem," he added.
His comments came in the backdrop of a TV sting operation, which led to the suspension of five IPL players - Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, T P Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali - with immediate effect pending inquiry. The decision was taken after a lengthy tele-conference of top BCCI officials and members of the IPL's Governing Council.
Maken said the BCCI should also open up its accounts to RTI to bring about much-needed credibility.
"They should not submit their accounts to us but they should open their accounts to RTIs. This will bring much-needed credibility to the BCCI," Maken said.
Maken also came out with a suggestion that BCCI should keep an arm's distance from the IPL, citing the examples of English Premier League where the clubs run the tournament instead of the national football body.
"IPL should be at a arm's distance from BCCI. It should not be under BCCI. IPL and BCCI should be away from each other so that there is no overlapping of interests," he said.
Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) President, Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said that a thorough investigation must be conducted into the allegations of spot-fixing in the IPL and action must be taken swiftly.
"I think it is very regrettable if it has occurred. There must be a thorough investigation, and action must be taken against those who have committed such an act. They must be held accountable," said Scindia, who is also the Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.
Asked if thought it was just the tip of an iceberg, Scindia said, "I think it is too early to comment on it. I have seen what you have seen on TV and as a member of the BCCI, I think we take these extremely seriously and action must be taken swiftly but with complete investigation."
On whether the punishment can go to the level of suspending the players from all sports, Scindia said, "I can't comment on it. We are going to debate it today and take action swiftly."