The Cricket Association of Bengal floated the name of Jagmohan Dalmiya as interim president of the Indian cricket board if N Srinivasan stepped down, but said it would be game if board vice-president Arun Jaitley replaced the incumbent. However, a top CAB official said it was 'opposed' to former BCCI presidents Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar retuning in an interim capacity.
Claiming to speak on behalf of all BCCI affiliates in the east Zone, CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey said: "There is no alternative to Dalmiya to run the board transparently. This is the thinking of all BCCI units in the East Zone".
BCCI EMERGENCY MEET ON SUNDAY
Under-fire BCCI president N Srinivasan on Saturday finally buckled under pressure as the emergency meeting scheduled for next week has now been rescheduled to a working committee meeting at 2.30 pm on Sunday. Srinivasan is expected to 'step aside' but not resign at the meeting in Chennai, and former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar is expected to be named interim president.
News channel NDTV said according to BCCI sources Srinivasan will quit if the board members have no faith in him.
According to CNN-IBN, there are two factions within the BCCI. While one faction wants a compromise exit for Srinivasan and is in favour of him stepping aside till the probe into the probe into the IPL scandals are over, but the other faction wants him to quit after the meeting.
Reports also suggests that, in Sunday's working committee meeting, Srinivasan will set two conditions - he wants to appoint the BCCI secretary and treasurer himself before he steps aside. Srinivasan also wants to be a representative in the ICC.
The BCCI meeting will now be held at 2:30 pm on Sunday in Chennai instead of 11 am reported earlier.
On Saturday morning, Srinivasan was delivered an ultimatum by top board members. "Either you go or we go," is reportedly what the five BCCI vice-presidents told Srinivasan, whose son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested on May 24 on charges of betting on Indian Premier League matches.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, while confirming the emergency working committee meeting has been convened, told reporters in New Delhi that an important decision is likely to be announced at the meeting.
There are indications that a compromise formula has been worked out for Srinivasan's exit. A resolution that he step aside until the independent probe into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal is completed is likely to be passed in the emergency working committee meeting. Srinivasan is unlikely to be impeached at the meeting.
The compromise formula being worked out will ensure that Srinivasan gets an honourable exit and leaves the doors open for him to make a comeback, according to news channels.
There are also indications that Manohar will be asked to take over as interim president at the emergency meeting. However, formal elections for the BCCI board are expected to only be held in September after Srinivasan's term officially ends.
On Friday, Mumbai Police shared phone transcripts from April that reveal Gurunath telling Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh, also under arrest for betting, that the anti-corruption unit (ACSU) of the ICC had warned him to be careful about the company he keeps. Gurunath was Team Principal of the Chennai Super Kings franchise.
Srinivasan and other senior members of the BCCI said they were not aware of any conversation that suggested the ACSU, which looks out for illegal betting and match-fixing, had told Gurunath that his activities were being watched.
A day after two of the BCCI's senior functionaries - secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke - in protest against Srinivasan's adamant stand to cling on to his post, BCCI vice-president Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that a solution is expected within the next 24 hours.
"Wait for a day, you will hear something significant," said Jaitley when asked if the five vice-presidents of the BCCI, including him, could put in their papers on Saturday.
BCCI members are understood to have conveyed to Srinivasan that if he does not step down, then all the board members would put in their papers.
CNN-IBN reported that several BCCI members may resign either on Saturday or in the next few days if Srinivasan decides to hang on despite his son-in-law being arrested for his alleged involvement in betting. The BCCI has five vice presidents - Arun Jaitley (North), Shivlal Yadav (South), Chitrak Mitra (East), Niranjan Shah (West) and Sudhir Dabir (Central). While Mitra has ruled out his resignation, the news channel said Dabir may step down soon.
The crisis in the BCCI has deepened with every passing day after Gurunath was arrested.
On Friday, Srinivasan had convened an Emergency Working Committee meeting on June 8 hours after information spilled out that the ICC had warned Gurunath to keep away from bookies at the start of IPL.
AZAD CALLS FOR FREE AND FAIR ENQUIRY [LINK]
Former cricketer Kirti Azad on Saturday said that mere resignation by the top officials of BCCI will not clean the tainted image of Indian cricket, which has taken a beating in wake of the recent spot-fixing scandal in the IPL.
"Is it basically going to change the BCCI, with resignations? I fail to understand. You will have to start from various associations, where prevention of corruption act or the ministry of corporate affairs or registrar of societies or various courts, their cases are pending so they should also step down or step aside on moral grounds and let free and fair enquiry take place," he said.
IMPORTANT TO CLEAN CRICKET'S IMAGE: THAKUR
Asserting that it is very important to clean the image of cricket, BCCI Joint Secretary Anurag Thakur said on Saturday some important decisions will be taken in the cricket board's meeting.
"I think it's very important to clean the image of cricket. It's very important to meet and take certain decisions," Thakur said.
"I think the police is doing its job. The three-member committee, had Mr. Sanjay as a third member; he is no more a BCCI Secretary. So, we also need to look into those areas also. So, we need to have a meeting and discuss all those issues, which have been raised in the media over the last few days," he added.
Thakur reiterated that Srinivasan should step down from his post for a fair and transparent probe in the spot-fixing scandal.
"And for a fair and transparent probe, we have again requested him to set aside," he said.
Thakur, however, remained evasive on whether he would also put down his papers following the resignations of two BCCI heavyweights - Jagdale and Shirke - to mount pressure on Srinivasan to step down.
"It's not about my resigning or anyone else resigning. It's about a fair probe and to clean the image of cricket, we need to run the board in a very transparent manner, which we do," he said.
'TERRY' WARNED ME: GURUNATH
According to CNN-IBN, Mumbai Police said Gurunath claims that someone called Terry from ICC warned him about bookie links in April when the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League was starting. Mumbai Police suspects Terry could be an official of the anti-corruption unit of the ICC.
Gurunath claims the warning was given to him orally but was not formally sent to the BCCI, the news channel reported, adding Mumbai Police sources ask why did the ICC not formally inform BCCI of the suspicion about Gurunath.
I AM HURT: JAGDALE
BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale, who resigned from his post on Friday, told Times of India he had taken the decision to quit on his own in the interests of Indian cricket.
Talking to the daily at the Holkar Stadium, Jagdale said, "I am hurt by the recent turn of events. I have thought about resigning from the post for the last few days after the recent controversy and it is my own independent decision. I am not against anyone."
Stating that the recent controversy had dented the reputation of Indian cricket, he added that everybody in the BCCI should not be painted with the same brush.
Jagdale, who is also a member of the three-member inquiry commission to go into allegations against Gurunath and Chennai Super Kings, also opted out of the inquiry committee.
VINDOO TRIED TO BEFRIEND GILCHRIST, GONY
A Mumbai Police Crime Branch official, on Friday, told Indian Express that Vindoo was engaged in cricket betting activities since 1990 and had tried to befriend Kings XI cricketers Adam Gilchrist and Manpreet Gony during this season six.
According to the police, Vindoo would regularly approach players, umpires and team officials to get inside information that would help him in his betting activities.
"Some months ago, Vindoo had invited Manpreet Gony and Adam Gilchrist to the launch of an electronic product in Mumbai, where expensive watches were gifted to the attendees. He was trying to strike a close friendship with them in an attempt to use them in the future but they were not very responsive," said an officer.
The Crime Branch is yet to decide whether or not to record statements of the players that Vindoo allegedly tried to be friends with.
WHAT SPARKED RESIGNATIONS? [Link]
In a dramatic turn of events on Friday evening, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke relinquished their posts throwing the world's richest sport body into complete disarray.
And if the two resignations were not enough, report of all the five BCCI vice-presidents contemplating resignation started doing the rounds though nothing materialised till late. While one of them denied the report, another left the question open saying anything could be said with certainty only on Saturday.
Ironically, the two senior members decided to put in their papers when the defiant BCCI chief N Srinivasan finally agreed to hold an emergency meeting of working committee next week.
BCCI insiders told Hindustan Times that the mass resignation was always in the offing, given the defiant approach adopted by Srinivasan. "Three of the key office bearers including Jagdale and Shirke had threatened to resign by Thursday evening even before the emergency working committee meeting was called," said BCCI sources.
"It was pretty clear that these three members along with few others were not pleased with the way the fixing scandal was being handled. They were also unhappy with the way Srinivasan has refused to pay any heed to demands of stepping down till the probe, which has been ordered against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, gets completed," sources added.
ICC OFFICIAL HAD WARNED GURUNATH [Link]
An ICC official, known as "Terry", had warned Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan that the latter was under surveillance for betting, Mumbai police officials said on Friday.
Times of India reported that Terry is either a South African or a British national and part of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) unit of the international cricket body. "We are trying to establish Terry's identity before speaking to ICC officials. If required, we will record their statement," a senior police officer said.
The ACSU keeps players, team members and umpires under surveillance in order to check malpractices in the game. Police said they are surprised that an ICC official directly got in touch with Gurunath instead of alerting BCCI. The board has denied receiving any alerts from ICC.
During the interrogation, Gurunath told police that Terry had warned him in April to steer clear of bookies after his alleged betting activities came to the notice of ACSU.
However, he allegedly continued to place bets and shared the information on warning with Vindoo Dara Singh, police said. But Terry's name did not figure in the intercepted conversations between Gurunath and Vindoo.
Police said that Gurunath's father-in-law and BCCI president N Srinivasan was probably unaware about the warning.
'VICTOR' TO BE GRILLED AGAIN
Chennai hotelier Vikram Aggarwal, under investigation for his links with bookies betting on IPL matches, will be questioned by Mumbai Police again on Saturday.
Known as Victor in betting circles, Aggarwal was on Friday interrogated face to face with Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who is under arrest for betting on IPL matches. The police custody of Gurunath and actor Vindoo Dara Singh has been extended till June 3.
According to Himanshu Roy, Mumbai Police Joint Commissioner (crime), Aggarwal, owner of Radisson Blu hotel, is a "key link" between the betting syndicate and Bollywood celebrities.
On Friday, Tamil Nadu Police searched two hotels owned by Aggarwal in Chennai.
Aggarwal, who appeared before Mumbai police on Friday in response to their summons, owns two hotel properties - the 129-room Fortune Select Palms near Chennai and the 162-room Radisson Blu Hotel City Centre in Tamil Nadu's capital city.
Aggarwal had not appeared before the Tamil Nadu Police Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) despite a summons issued to him. His application for anticipatory bail was dismissed on Thursday by the Madras High Court.
TRIVEDI ASKED TO SPOT FIX IN IPL-5
Rajasthan Royals cricketer Siddharth Trivedi, who is a prosecution witness in the 2013 IPL spot fixing scandal, was asked by several bookies to spot fix matches, a police officer said on Friday.
He revealed the information during his questioning by Delhi Police. Trivedi, who had played for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy and for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, was questioned by Delhi Police on Thursday.
Trivedi's statement was noted in the Saket court on Friday.
"Trivedi recorded his statement under 164 of Criminal Procedure Code before a magistrate in Saket court after he was conveyed about the procedures of recording the statement," said the official.
"He is in a borderline role. We do not have evidence to make him an accused. He is an insider who knows things. We have decided to make him prosecution witness," the official added.
Trivedi was contacted by former Rajasthan Royals player Amit Singh for the first time in 2010. Singh was arrested as a bookie in the IPL spot fixing.
During a JP Atray Memorial Cricket tournament played in Chandigarh in September 2010, Trivedi was contacted by some bookies - including Deepak Kumar, who has been arrested by Delhi Police.
Sunil Bhatia, another arrested bookie, had also contacted Trivedi.
"Bhatia and Kumar had offered him money for the 2012 IPL, but he declined," the official said.
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