Chronology of corruption

S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan... bowling the wrong line.-PTI

On the morning of May 16, 2013, India woke up to ‘breaking news’ on television. It was a missive that virtually broke Indian cricket’s heart. None had a clue until then and when Rahul Dravid was asked to step into the team hotel lobby, the Rajasthan Royals skipper presumed that some of his players may have stirred up some noise in a club the previous night. Like the rest of us, Dravid too felt shock descend upon him.

The news was horrible. S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were found to be in touch with bookies and were alleged to have indulged in spot-fixing spread over three Indian Premier League matches. The investigation gathered steam and much later (September 13) Sreesanth and Chavan were slapped with life bans by the BCCI.

Eight days after May 16, Gurunath Meiyappan, a leading Chennai Super Kings official was arrested for his alleged links with bookie Vindu Dara Singh and for placing bets on IPL games that also involved his team. One of the Rajasthan Royals co-owners, Raj Kundra, was also put under the scanner for ‘betting.’ Indian cricket was never the same and memories of 2000 were whipped up. Back then, match-fixing allegations had plagued the Indian team. Sadly, history had come a full circle.

The agony flares up

A court-appointed committee headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal submitted its final report on the spot-fixing and betting allegations to the Supreme Court on February 10, 2014. The report states that Meiyappan is guilty of betting and passing on information during last season’s IPL. To make it worse, the report also stressed that Meiyappan was a team official with Chennai Super Kings. The report further added that Raj Kundra, Rajasthan Royals owner, ‘resorted to betting.’

On March 25, the Supreme Court Justice A. K. Patnaik said: “Mr. Srinivasan should step down or else we will be forced to pass an order. How did he stay on despite all the allegations? His staying on is nauseating for cricket.”

The other judge on the bench, Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla added: “If there has to be a fair and dispassionate enquiry, Mr. Srinivasan must step down.”

Finally, on March 28, the Supreme Court appointed Sunil Gavaskar as Interim President of the BCCI, in-charge of the IPL, while Vice-President Shivlal Yadav was asked to oversee administrative matters.

However, the final verdict is yet to be pronounced and the last word is awaited.

K. C. Vijaya Kumar