How the IPL scam unfolded

Dark side of the IPL…S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila (below) and Ankeet Chavan (down), who were arrested for hobnobbing with bookmakers and indulging in spot-fixing.-PTI Dark side of the IPL…S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila (below) and Ankeet Chavan (down), who were arrested for hobnobbing with bookmakers and indulging in spot-fixing.

The Indian Premier League, since its inception, went through various tipping points. When it was launched in 2008, even the players took some time to adjust. Getting a grip on the format, coping with team owners’ egos and forging bonds with stars from other nations were new challenges, and they coped.

The few snide whispers during those formative days were the ones about the after-match parties and the decadence it bred. The tournament though got bigger and became an annual Indian summer feature just like mangoes, scorching heat and adverts for air-conditioners and prickly heat powders.

The odd talk of gambling did surface, but largely everything was fine until the 16th of May, 2013, blew up on IPL’s face. It is time to recall the sordid saga over nearly two years that forced the Supreme Court to recommend a course correction in the manner in which the league is being administered.

May 16, 2013 — a summer day with a nasty twist

The Rajasthan Royals captain, Rahul Dravid, gets an early morning call. Bleary-eyed and wondering what had transpired, he moves to his hotel lobby in Mumbai. He is informed about a fact that becomes breaking news in a few hours.

The Delhi Police arrests three Rajasthan Royals players, S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, for hobnobbing with bookmakers and indulging in spot-fixing. Indian cricket plunges into darkness, and cynicism reigns.

May 24, 2013 — the protector turns predator

Gurunath Meiyappan, a leading official of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), also son-in-law of the BCCI president, N. Srinivasan, is arrested in Mumbai on charges of cheating and fraud.

PTI

Meiyappan is questioned over his links with bookies, especially Virender ‘Vindoo’ Dara Singh, who too is put behind bars. A member from a team-ownership group indulging in betting and misusing his access to privileged information is a mortal blow to the IPL, and also hurts Srinivasan.

The knives are out and cricket bleeds. Black humour kicks in when Srinivasan calls his son-in-law a ‘cricket enthusiast’, while everyone is aware that Meiyappan had a larger role — team principal — with CSK. A few days later, May 31 to be precise, the BCCI secretary, Sanjay Jagdale, and the treasurer, Ajay Shirke, resign from their posts.

The next day, Rajiv Shukla quits the IPL chairmanship. The rot gets worse when Raj Kundra, a co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, allegedly confesses to the police about his involvement in betting over IPL games. Meanwhile the BCCI’s anti-corruption and security unit head Ravi Sawani investigates the corruption angle in IPL.

R.V.MOORTHY

June 2, 2013 — the BCCI supremo steps aside

After a BCCI working committee meeting in Chennai, the Board declares that the president, N. Srinivasan, will step aside until the investigation into corruption allegations is completed.

September 13, 2013 — the curtain falls on a lost talent

The BCCI enforces a life ban on Sreesanth and Chavan for their involvement in spot-fixing. It is time to mull over the tragedy that befalls the two players, especially Sreesanth, a fine talent gone awry.

October 8, 2013 — the president returns, Mudgal looms large

The Supreme Court announces that Srinivasan can resume duties as the BCCI president as long as he stays away from IPL-related issues. The court also constitutes a three-member panel, led by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, to probe into the corruption in the IPL.

March 25, 2014 — the SC recommends that Srinivasan step down

The Supreme Court observes that Srinivasan should step down as the BCCI president so that there is a fair investigation into the IPL betting scam. Subsequently, the apex court appoints Sunil Gavaskar as the head of the BCCI specific to the conduct of the IPL, and also allows all teams including CSK and Royals to participate in the IPL. The BCCI vice-president, Shivlal Yadav, oversees the administrative wing of the BCCI.

November 3, 2014 — Mudgal submits report

The Mudgal Committee submits its final report to the Supreme Court and paves the way for a final judgement on the manner in which the IPL is being governed and the larger role of Srinivasan within the ambit of the BCCI.

January 22, 2015 — the verdict

The Supreme Court, which over the past few months made scathing observations with regard to the BCCI, finally delivers a verdict on the IPL mess.

The court clears Srinivasan of corruption allegations, but bars him from the imminent BCCI elections until he gives up his commercial interest in Chennai Super Kings. The two-man bench of Justice T. S. Thakur and F. M. I. Kalifulla, however, say that there is conflict of interest, and adjudges that Meiyappan and Kundra were officials of CSK and the Royals respectively when the IPL scandal first broke out in 2013.

The quantum of punishment for the duo will be decided by another three-member panel.

K. C. Vijaya Kumar