Gavaskar to head BCCI during IPL; CSK and RR can play
Sunil Gavaskar will head the BCCI in respect of its IPL functions, and a vice-president of the board will carry out other duties, the Supreme Court has said. It also said, at the hearing of the IPL corruption case on Friday, that the IPL 2014 could continue with all teams participating.
The BCCI later said that Shivlal Yadav, the board's senior-most vice-president, will carry out the non-IPL functions. The court's interim order said employees of India Cements must have no role in the BCCI except as players or commentators.
It also said Gavaskar could appoint people of his confidence, and could decide on IPL COO Sundar Raman's continuance in that role. It directed that Gavaskar should be released from his contractual obligations with the BCCI as a commentator but said he should be compensated for his new role.
"I am deeply humbled and honoured that the Honourable Supreme Court of India has entrusted me with the job of being the interim president of the BCCI till the end of IPL 7," Gavaskar said. "Like with my cricket, I will give it my best shot."
It's not yet clear what role Gavaskar will play as interim president during the IPL, given that the tournament has an established and experienced management structure in place. "The BCCI president is like a guiding force as far as the IPL is concerned," Sanjay Patel, the board secretary, told ESPNCricinfo. "The IPL has been run by its Governing Council in collaboration with the chairman and the CEO. That will continue, the management structure will remain the same."
Patel, who is also part of the IPL governing council, said the only question that needed to be resolved was Sundar Raman's role. "The only issue is whether Gavaskar would like the services of Sundar Raman. That is what the court stated today," Patel said. He said he would be meeting Gavaskar soon to work out a plan.
"The court suggested that for probity, for the public perception of an investigation that if Mr Srinivasan was, as the managing director of Indian Cements, concerned with the team which was under investigation, for the time being during the investigations he should not discharge the functions. The BCCI considered this and felt that it was perfectly right and can be done and Mr Srinivasan himself made that offer," BCCI counsel CA Sundaram said.
He said the BCCI was "very, very glad" that the court had not suspended the IPL or Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. "We were keen that all the teams should participate at this juncture, inasmuch as there has not yet been any kind of final decision as to whether the franchisees were responsible and if so what action should be taken. We felt that this was not the time to stop them from playing and for the effectiveness of the IPL all eight teams playing at this juncture was important."
The two-judge bench of AK Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla made it clear that it would reserve its final judgement till all hearings are complete. The next hearing will be on April 16, when the BCCI counsel would be given the first opportunity to present his arguments against the submissions made by the CAB. According to Sundaram it will take at least a "few more" hearings to get more clarity.
The case dates back to June 2013, when the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma raised charges of conflict of interest in the formation of BCCI's two-member inquiry panel into the IPL corruption issue. A Bombay High Court ruling later termed the probe panel "illegal". The BCCI and the CAB filed petitions in the Supreme Court against this order, with the CAB contending that the Bombay High Court could have suggested a fresh mechanism to look into the corruption allegations.
The Supreme Court then appointed a three-member committee, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal and comprising additional solicitor general L Nageswara Rao and Assam Cricket Association member Nilay Dutta, in October 2013, to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption against Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, India Cements, and Rajasthan Royals team owner Jaipur IPL Cricket Private Ltd, as well as with the larger mandate of allegations around betting and spot-fixing in IPL matches and the involvement of players. The committee had submitted its findings to the court on February 10.