BCCI to discuss SA tour, betting, spot-fixing

Kolkata, July 27 (IANS) Amid reports that the two-member internal probe panel of the Indian cricket board has cleared its chief N. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan of betting charges, the BCCI mandarins meet here Sunday to discuss a host of issues, with the schedule for the upcoming tour to South Africa likely to come under the scanner.

The BCCI bosses, however, categorically claimed they were yet to receive the report of the commission comprising retired judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian formed in May to probe the allegations of betting in the Indian Premier League against Chennai Super Kings Chief Executive Officer Meiyappan, who was arrested by the Mumbai police May 18.

"We have not received any such report. I don't how people are saying this," BCCI acting president Jagmohan Dalmiya told IANS, on the eve of the board's crucial working committee meeting at a five star hotel.

However, a news channel quoted insiders in BCCI as claiming the report clearing Meiyappan was submitted Thursday.

With BCCI chief Srinivasan stepping aside till the pendency of the commission, a clean chit for Meiyappan could clear the decks for his return to the top post and make him a strong candidate for re-election in September.

The schedule of the trip to South Africa beginning Nov 21 has generated much interest in the wake of the appointment of ex ICC Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat as Cricket South Africa CEO. With India not on the best of terms with Lorgat, who had repeatedly rubbed BCCI the wrong way while discharging his duties in the ICC, there were efforts on the part of the Indian board to prevail upon South Africa to appoint somebody else in the key post.

But with CSA going ahead with Lorgat's appointment, there is some speculation about the BCCI opting for a shortened tour. While the original schedule comprised three Test matches, seven One Day International engagements and two Twenty20 International, BCCI now seems keen to play two Tests, five ODIs and two T20 Internationals.

The BCCI is planning to send the alternative schedule to South Africa following the working committee parleys.

The working committee is also expected to finalise its decision on following up the report submitted by its Anti-Corruption and Security unit chief Ravi Sawani regarding the spot fixing scandal which had snared three Rajashtan Royals cricketers S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, who were arrested May 16.

The BCCI was earlier slated to issue show cause notices to the three players, and call them for hearings before the disciplinary committee based on their reply. The latest of the sensational case is likely to come out in the meeting.

The committee could also deal with the Disciplinary Committee findings on the accusation of of financial bunglings against former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, besides the upper age limit of 60 for match referees in domestic matches.

On the agenda is the extension of contract of all Indian team's support staff, except coach Duncan Fletcher, and the issues in the National Cricket Academy where the contracts of the key coaches are expiring July 31. There are some indications that coaches Bharat Arun and Dinesh Nanavaty are not keen on seeking extensions.

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