The Supreme Court on Thursday disallowed Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) chief-in-exile N Srinivasan from contesting elections to the cricket board. In a 130-page verdict on Thursday, the apex court said that Srinivasan as the BCCI chief and owner of an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise had created a conflict of interest.
The court also quashed the controversial 6.2.4 clause that allows BCCI officials to own IPL teams and have commercial interests. which meant that Srinivasan can no longer don both the hats, that of owner of the Chennai Super Kings franchise and also that of the BCCI President.
The court had conveyed as much to Srinivasan in its previous hearing: “If you wish to contest as president, your investment is endangered. If you don’t fight the elections, your investment is safe.” This will have other implications because Srinivasan is also the chairman of ICC, and his position may no longer be tenable. Supreme Court have also ordered BCCI to conduct elections within next six weeks.
However, suspicion of cover-up was unfounded against Srinivasan, but SC made strong observation against him. “There is high probability that he was involved in corruption, but there is nothing to prove that.”
Meanwhile, the honourable court brought the hammer down on the Indian Premier League spot-fixing case, ruling Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra guilty of betting on IPL matches. A 3-member judicial committee will now take a call on punitive action against Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, which would have implications for the future of both the franchises, though they would be allowed to play in the interim.
The panel will also have a re-look at the BCCI constitution and give its report in six months. With that the clock has started ticking for the board as we know it. The panel will also make recommendations regarding other protagonists in the IPL cricket saga, such as former IPL chairman Sunder Raman. Most important, this committee will review the MOUs signed by the IPL franchises, especially the financial clauses, keeping in view the ‘public functioning’ of the BCCI. This is, from all accounts, a defining moment for Indian cricket.