Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) secretary Aditya Verma Tuesday alleged that sidelined Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N. Srinivasan is dragging the names of former reputed cricketers in the Supreme Court to cover up for his own “conflict of interest”.
The court questioned how Srinivasan, besides being the president of the BCCI, a member of the Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council and vice-chairman and managing director of India Cement Ltd that owns Chennai Super Kings, could have a team despite the BCCI rule 6.2.4 barring the cricketing body's office-bearers and administrators from having, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in any event organised by the Board.Srinivasan's counsel, Nalini Chidambaram, said the rule was amended by the September 2008 AGM to exclude IPL from its ambit and insulating CSK from its consequences.
Chidambaram said the definition of 'administrator' was so wide that it would practically take everybody out of IPL. He said that tycoon Vijay Mallya was an office-bearer of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and also holds a franchise. He named several players, including former Indian skippers Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble, in this connection.
"I was shocked to watch how Srinivasan, through his counsel told the honourable Supreme Court a bunch of lies on Monday to protect his own interest," Verma said in a release."Srinivasan informed the court that players like Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly, Brijesh Patel, Anil Kumble, Ravi Shastri, Lalchand Rajput, Venkatesh Prasad and Krishnamachari Srikanth were also involved in conflict of interest in the cricket board. With deep regret I must say that Srinivasan is consciously tarnishing the image of some cricketing idols only to save himself," Verma said.
"The point is that none of these cricketers had ever remained an office bearer in the BCCI and did not profit from those offices. So, they can never be compared with Srinivasan. At the most, they were sub-committee members. In fact, when Gavaskar was made the interim president of the BCCI to look after the IPL, he was asked by the honourable Supreme Court to relieve himself of all duties as a television commentator," added Verma.
The court Monday asked Srinivasan to show he was not in conflict of interest over the betting allegations against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, an official of CSK.Verma said there were a couple of exceptions like K Srikanth and L. Sivaramakrishnan. “Srikanth was widely criticised for being a CSK official despite being the chairman of the national selection committee. Worse is Sivaramakrishnan - a commentator, an ICC sub-committee member and an India Cement employee, thanks to the blessing of one person,” Verma said.
The BCCI counsel also dragged the name of Vijay Mallya to the court, the CAB secretary said.“Mallya, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) boss, was only an executive committee member of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA). How could the BCCI counsel compare him with Srinivasan? Was he a BCCI member when RCB was inducted in the IPL? To protect one lie, he was only telling the court a pack of lies.”
Verma alleged Srinivasan, as the president of the BCCI and previously as the secretary and treasurer of the board, blatantly misused his power.