BCCI sets up probe panel, wants players' agents accredited

Chennai, (IANS): Agents of all players will now need to be accredited to the Indian cricket board while an anti-corruption official of the board will be assigned to each Indian Premier League (IPL) team, board president N. Srinivasan announced on Sunday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI, at its emergency working committee meeting here in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal, also set up a panel to probe the scandal involving three Rajasthan Royals players - S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan - who were arrested in Mumbai late Wednesday by Delhi Police. The police have also nabbed twelve bookies so far.

Among those attending the working committee meeting were former India captain Ravi Shastri (BCCI technical committee representative) and board secretary Sanjay Jagdale while IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, IPL governing council member Arun Jaitley, and former India leg-spinner Anil Kumble joined through video conference.

As for the inquiry, Srinivasan said: "Ravi Sawani has been appointed as the commissioner to inquire into allegations against these players. His report will be submitted to the BCCI disciplinary committee in quick time. We won't hesitate to act ruthlessly if the players are found guilty."

Srinivasan said a BCCI Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) official will accompany each team.

"An ACSU official will travel with the team along with a security officer. Access to players will be monitored closely," he said.

Srinivasan said the education programme for players at the junior levels will be further intensified.

"After incidents of the past, every domestic match is videographed. Now we will substantially intensify education programmes."

The BCCI chief, however, conceded that the board was handicapped in corruption matters.

"The anti-corruption units of the ICC (International Cricket Council) and BCCI have got certain limitations. They cannot gather information like police can. They can't tap phones. They have got a lot of restrictions. Allright, three players have indulged in something, but the education programme of the ICC as well as the BCCI has been successful in the fact that a lot of players have understood what they should be doing and what they should not be doing. We must look at how individuals have made a mistake. We cannot control every bookie in the town."

Asked about legalsing betting in India, Srinivasan said: "Different arguments go on about legalising bettings. In other countries they have legalised, and it has helped. I don't know about India, if it will work or not."

He also chose to thank the fans for turning up at stadiums despite the latest controversy.

"For the last three-four days, there have been BCCI bashing and IPL bashing has taken place as if the whole world has fallen down. Only three players have allegedly done something. It doesn't mean the whole IPL is bad. We are very grateful to the public that has sold out grounds despite the news."

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