IPL: Sharad Pawar's doublespeak on Srinivasan?

Updated: 31 May 2013 14:18 IST

In a letter written to Srinivasan in 2008, a copy of which is available with NDTV, Pawar had informed Srinivasan that India Cements could participate in the original tender process for a franchise in the IPL. Now says legal team was consulted.

On Wednesday, former BCCI chief Mr. Sharad Pawar said that if he was still in charge the current mess that the Indian cricket Board finds itself in won't have happened. It was Pawar however who had cleared the way for India Cements, of which the current BCCI chief Mr N. Srinivasan is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director, to own an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise five years ago.

In a letter written to Srinivasan in 2008, a copy of which is available with NDTV, Pawar had informed Srinivasan that India Cements could participate in the original tender process for a franchise in the IPL. "I have examined the bylaws and the relevant regulations of BCCI and I have consulted several members of BCCI , including the office bearers of the Board and it is our considered opinion that your being a shareholder, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company will not prevent or preclude the Indian Cements Limited from participating in the tender," he wrote.

Pawar had then, further explained that ' the participation of India Cements Limited will not mean that you personally have any direct or indirect commercial interest.' The politician told reporters on Wednesday that the decision to allow India Cements in the tender process was taken after legal consultations and was unanimously agreed to by the then office bearers.

The question of conflict of interest was raised during the bidding process for teams in 2008 and continues to hound Srinivasan till this date. The additional and potentially damaging issue of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan - former team principal of CSK - being arrested on charges of betting has also resulted in the demand for Srinivasan's resignation from many quarters.

Pawar is not among those people. "I do not want to comment on any individual," he told reporters, but also demanded an inquiry by the Home Ministy. "If the BCCI gives in writing to the Home Minister and request to investigate all the matches, the government can then investigate all the matches. They can interrogate anybody. They have legal sanction. If, however, the board does not accept it and says its own anti-corruption will do the job, I feel the board is not serious in dealing with the wrongdoings."

Pawar was the president of BCCI between 2005 and 2008 while Srinivasan took charge in 2011, taking over from Shashank Manohar.

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