Indian SC plan: Axe Srini, suspend CSK, RR

Friday, 28 March 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Supreme Court makes proposal to BCCI, board to reply on Frida ESPNCricinfo: The Supreme Court has proposed sweeping changes to the BCCI, including replacing N. Srinivasan as the Board’s Chief with Sunil Gavaskar or a “seasoned or respected cricketer” and suspending Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL. The suggestions were made to the BCCI counsel during hearing of the case on Thursday; the board has been asked to reply to the proposals on Friday, after which the board will issue an interim order. The court also proposed that employees of India Cements, of which Srinivasan is Managing Director and which owns CSK, should be kept out of the BCCI set-up. At its last hearing, on 25 March, the court had effectively given Srinivasan an ultimatum to step down by today or risk being removed by it. At Thursday’s hearing it did not pass any explicit order to this effect but came up with the sweeping set of proposals. At the start of the hearing, which went on for more than two hours, BCCI counsel C.A. Sundaram said it would implement the recommendations of the Mudgal Committee and submitted a closed envelope containing the Board’s response to the Supreme Court’s observations of Tuesday. The judges read the proposals, set them aside and asked for the arguments to be presented to them. The Cricket Association of Bihar - which had filed the petition back in 2013 which led to this hearing - legal counsel Harish Salve’s arguments took up most of the session, with him recommending termination of the CSK and RR franchises. One line of Salve’s argument dwelt on India captain MS Dhoni and his response to the Mudgal Committee about the role of Gurunath Meiyappan, Srinivasan’s son-in-law, in CSK. The Mudgal Committee’s report states: “Mr. MS Dhoni, Mr. N. Srinivasan and officials of India Cements took the stand that Mr. Meiyappan had nothing to do with the cricketing affairs of Chennai Super Kings and was a mere cricket enthusiast supporting CSK.”
 FICA tells players to shun BPL The future of the Bangladesh Premier League as a reputable international tournament is now in serious doubt after FICA, the international players’ federation, advised against future participation because of prolonged non-payment of fees. ESPNcricinfo understands many players are still awaiting full payment for the 2013 edition of the BPL, with FICA - the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations - now stating it has “no choice” but to “recommend players don’t participate.” FICA’s condemnation of BPL comes at a bad time for Bangladesh as it concentrates on staging a successful World Twenty20 tournament. “Whilst a few players have received full payments from their participation in the 2013 BPL, the vast majority haven’t and payments are now months overdue,” Paul Marsh, Chairman of FICA, said. “This is a repeat of the issues we saw in 2012. “Unfortunately this is an outcome FICA predicted and we advised players prior to the tournament of our concerns. We were hoping the BPL would prove us wrong and deliver an event that addressed our concerns. “It didn’t and going forward we are left with no choice but to recommend players don’t participate in an event that doesn’t respect players’ basic contractual rights.” The latest player chasing payment is Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan. He claims he has been paid only 21% of the fee promised to him for representing Dhaka Gladiators. Although he was promised a second instalment immediately after the tournament, this payment never reached his bank account. The franchise owners insist they owe him nothing. The Bangladesh Cricket Board, who originally said they would act as guarantors in the event of non-payment issues in the BPL, are now claiming it is not their responsibility to pay the fees incurred by franchises. Sri Lanka Cricket have made representations to the BCB on Dilshan’s behalf, but to no avail. Tim May, the former Chairman of FICA, had warned players against participating in the BPL as early as 2012 due to similar issues. The news comes just days after it emerged that several Chittagong Kings players - England’s Ravi Bopara, Netherlands’ Ryan ten Doeschate, West Indies’ Kevon Cooper, Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor and Surrey’s Jason Roy - had also complained to the BCB that they have not been paid.
Salve said that in denying any knowledge of Gurunath’s role in CSK, “the Indian cricket captain has been indulging in corrupt conduct”. He also named the India Cements employees who held positions in the BCCI. The judges were surprised to learn that Dhoni also happened to be a Vice-President of India Cements and were presented with documentary proof of Dhoni’s appointment. At one point during the argument, Justice Patnaik asked Salve - whose father NKP Salve was a BCCI President in the 1980s - for his opinion on whether the court had legal standing “restructuring” an autonomous body like the BCCI. It is believed that Salve said he would respond in writing. Reacting to the news of his name being mentioned as a replacement for Srinivasan, Gavaskar said: “When the highest court of the land tells you to do something, you have to do it.” Gavaskar pointed out that he was contracted to BCCI TV as a commentator but said that he would step in if the court, even after that, asked him to do so. “As an opening batsman you have to be mentally and physically ready for any challenge,” he said. The dramatic events of the past two days forced the BCCI to push back its IPL preparations. A media conference scheduled in Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon for the IPL launch was postponed as soon as the court proposals became public. The case dates back to June 2013 when the Cricket Association of Bihar Secretary Aditya Verma raised charges of conflict of interest in the formation of BCCI’s two-member inquiry panel into the IPL corruption issue. A Bombay High Court ruling later termed the probe panel “illegal”. The BCCI and the CAB filed petitions in the Supreme Court against this order, with the CAB contending that the Bombay High Court could have suggested a fresh mechanism to look into the corruption allegations. The Supreme Court then appointed a three-member committee, headed by former High Court Judge Mukul Mudgal and comprising Additional Solicitor General L. Nageswara Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta, in October 2013, to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Jaipur IPL Cricket Ltd., as well as with the larger mandate of allegations around betting and spot-fixing in IPL matches and the involvement of players. The Committee had submitted its findings to the court on 10 February.