The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to suspend Rajasthan Royals' co-owner Raj Kundra till an inquiry into allegations of betting against him is completed. The Board decided this at a emergency meeting here, reportedly after a heated debate on the matter.
Some members are said to have argued that there isn't much evidence against him although the Delhi Police had claimed that Kundra had confessed to having placed bets in Indian Premier League (IPL), including matches played by the Royals. (Related read: Kundra's counsel lashes out at BCCI's 'unilateral' decision)
Chaired by interim President Jagmohan Dalmiya, today's meeting also discussed various reforms to clean cricket and IPL in particular, made imperative by the betting and spot fixing scandal that had whiplashed Indian cricket.
The Board also decided that the two-member panel -- comprising Justice T Jayaram Chouta and Justice R Balasubramanian -- which is currently investigating Meiyappan and CSK would also probe Kundra and the Rajasthan Royals.
"The Working Committee today decided to suspend Raj Kundra on allegations of gambling on IPL VI matches till the pendency of inquiry," BCCI's interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya told reporters after the meeting.
"Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar had grilled Kundra for 11 hours and he had admitted to gambling in IPL matches and also IPL CEO Sundar Raman has got a complaint from a closed source. I will not reveal the name of the source," he said.
Earlier, the Royals had said that Mr Kundra was a 'minority shareholder' and did not play a role in running the franchise. It also said that he would forfeit his 11.7 percent stake in the team if you was found guilty. Rules on IPL franchise owners are extremely strict with the agreement stating that a team can be terminated in the event of any of the owners bringing the game into disrepute.
As I walk out of my house head up high in my blue RR jersey and proud to be a loyal royal. Justice will prevail. My formal statement follows- Raj Kundra (@TheRajKundra) June 10, 2013
Mr Kundra last week, had been quizzed for several hours by the Delhi police along with his friend Umesh Goenka. The British businessman of Indian origin had later tweeted: I am back home in Mumbai. Kindly let Delhi crime branch do their work. media stop using derogatory statements.
Even on Saturday, the 37-year-old had taken to the micro-blogging site to wish his wife -actress Shilpa Shetty - on her birthday and apologized for the disturbing developments. (Read) On the same day, he had issued a statement saying he is completely innocent. (Read Raj Kundra's full statement)
Developments pertaining to betting and spot-fixing emerged when three cricketers belonging to the Rajasthan franchise - S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - were taken into police custody last month (May 16). The team came under direct scrutiny and the franchise had then issued a statement that it was not aware of any wrongdoings, if any, in the team. (Related: Sources say interim report recommends life ban on tainted trio)
The disciplinary committee of the BCCI has issued a showcause notice to the three players. The Board also reportedly discussed an interim report submitted by the BCCI's anti-corruption chief, Ravi Sawani, wherein a life ban has been recommended against the three cricketers.
With PTI inputs