Meiyappan just a cricket enthusiast: BCCI chief

Kolkata, May 27 -- Here's the volte-face everyone was anticipating from N Srinivasan, president of the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI). A few days ago, Srinivasan had called the tainted Rajasthan Royals trio of Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan as a few rotten eggs, but his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, he feels, is just a cricket enthusiast.

Hours before the T-20 tournament final on Sunday, in an act of brazen self-defence, at a press conference Srinivasan did what was required of him as BCCI president - he suspended Gurunath and announced a three-member committee to look into the affair. However, he did not say a word against his son-in-law and reiterated that he himself would not resign and that he had the board's backing.

"With regard to Gurunath, the legal process has started and he's facing police investigation. The BCCI has decided to provisionally suspend him from all activities in cricket and particularly from all involvement in the Chennai Super Kings franchise. The management of Rajasthan Royals will also be subject to the same inquiry procedure," Srinivasan said.

The father-in-law got fidgety and irritated when asked questions concerning Gurunath and his most brazen attempt at trying to downplay the situation came when he suggested that Gurunath was just a "very enthusiastic" person who used to travel with CSK.

When asked how Gurunath made it to the team dugout and the auction table as just an enthusiast, Srinivasan said it was not his prerogative to find out. "He (Gurunath) did not have any role. He never visited the CSK office. But he would go [to the matches]. He is very enthusiastic. Let the commission find out," Srinivasan said.

"India Cement has issued a statement on what his role was and what was not. What is his role and whether he transcended rules will be determined by the commission," Srinivasan said.

Gurunath's role in CSK remains unclear. Accreditation cards that only franchise owners can possess have been found in Gurunath's name, apart from the fact that he has been a regular at CSK auctions.

To this, Srinivasan finally indicated that Gurunath was part of the management team. "To go into IPL, you've to be either an owner or part of the management. He was later accredited and was part of the management team," he said.

In what capacity was Gurunath allowed to be part of CSK management if he was not part of India Cements or had never visited CSK office? As an enthusiast, claims the BCCI president.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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