Under-fire BCCI president-in-exile N. Srinivasan continues to remain defiant. Two days after a Supreme Court-ordered probe committee revealed that he was being probed for betting and corruption in Indian Premier League, the Tamil Nadu strongman once again claimed that there was no evidence against him. (IPL scam: Top 10 developments)
"The honourable Supreme Court has not said anything against me. I also do not think there is any evidence against me. If there was anything against me, the (court) order would have been different," Srinivasan told Mumbai Mirror. The probe report, submitted by Justice Mukul Mudgal, is expected to be in the public domain on Monday. (Indian player breaks down before Mudgal committee)
A special Bench, comprising justice TS Thakur and FM Kalifullah, on Friday named Srinivasan, Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and former IPL chief executive Sundar Raman among those who were being probed by the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee. There are 13 names under investigation and that includes current and former players.
The court observed several "misdemeanours" in connection with the scandal. The four - termed by the judges as "non-playing actors in the drama" -- have been served notices to explain their standpoint. The Supreme Court will hear the case again on November 24.
Friday's court revelation had an immediate impact on the BCCI. Under pressure from some of its units, the Board has called for an emergency working committee meeting on November 18 (Tuesday).
There could be two options before the working committee. One, to go ahead with the AGM as scheduled on November 20 and postpone the elections till the IPL hearing was over. Two, to defer both AGM and elections by four weeks.
In spite of an anti-Srinivasan wave, led by former president Shashank Manohar, the current officer-bearers, who have already overstayed their tenure, seem keen to give Srinivasan another run as BCCI boss.
Srinivasan is surely keen on a second term. But the court has not given him a clearance. On Friday, Justice Thakur said, "We cannot give clarity on whether you can contest or not until this matter is disposed of."
Srinivasan, meanwhile, believes he has nothing to worry about. "You may see the report. Prima facie, there is no stricture or observation against me. I've nothing to worry. Even if there was 10 per cent of evidence against me, the court would have pointed that out. I am sure the investigators have not found anything against me," he said.
Srinivasan feels he should not be crucified for his son-in-law Meiyappan's alleged misdeeds. At one stage of the probe, Srinivasan had defended Meiyappan as a mere "cricket enthusiast." Now, Srinivasan says: "I am not responsible for anything that others do. If Gurunath has done something, you investigate and take action against him. I can't be held responsible for others' acts."
Meanwhile, a report in ESPNCricinfo, quoting sources, says the three cricketers whose names were mentioned by mistake on Friday, have been cleared. The court had asked the media to withhold the names after inadvertently letting them out. One of the names, Owais Shah of England said he was never interviewed by the investigators.