Srinivasan keen on chairing key BCCI meeting

New Delhi, August 1 (IANS) Narayanswamy Srinivasan will have some answering to do on the "illegally" appointed probe panel for spot fixing in whatever capacity he attends the Indian cricket board's working committee meeting here Friday.

Srinivasan, who stepped aside as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) two months ago, is apparently insisting on chairing the meeting even as his colleagues are divided over the constitution of the panel to probe the role of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, the Chennai Super Kings principal, and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra in betting and spot fixing in IPL-6.

Ever since Bombay High Court said the probe panel was against the 'BCCI' constitution, the board's former and current office-bearers have come out slamming the way the two-member panel was formed in a hurry and the manner in which a clean chit was given to all the accused even when the matter was sub-judice.

The probe panel's report will be discussed at the meeting of the IPL Governing Council Friday before deciding on the future course of action against Meiyappan and Kundra.

IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla was non-committal when asked whether Srinivasan would chair Friday's meeting. All he would say was that "it would be decided tomorrow".

BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah was the first senior board official to come out openly against the panel and called for a fresh investigation.

"Board's image has really gone down recently. We must do something to improve it. Its legal team will look at it and take the necessary steps. We must have another panel as per the constitution," said Shah.

The commission, comprising former High Court judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian, submitted its report to the BCCI working committee in Kolkata last Sunday. The Mumbai High Court pointed out that the panel was formed by BCCI CAO Ratnakar Shetty adding that the then treasurer Ajay Shirke and secretary Sanjay Jagdale knew nothing about the appointment process. It also questioned the absence of IPL Governing Council members Ravi Shastri and Arun Jaitley from the panel.

Aditya Verma, secretary of the unrecognised Bihar Cricket Association, has further put pressure on the BCCI to come clean by claiming that he was offered money to abstain from filing the PIL in the High Court.

Earlier Thursday, Jharkhand cricket chief and Congress MP, Subodh Kant Sahai, was quoted as saying that Srinivasan should not resume charge in view of the High Court strictures.

If Srinivasan does chair the working committee meeting, it will mark his official return to the Board after handing over the reins to former BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Dalmiya felt the court order was embarrassing for the board.

The issue of former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, now living in self-imposed exile in London, is also likely to be discussed at the meeting.

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