New Delhi - An investigation into corruption and betting scandals has exonerated
world cricket chief Narayanaswami Srinivasan, clearing the way for his
comeback as head of the sport in India, a court heard on Monday.
considered the most powerful man in world cricket, was among top
officials probed by a Supreme Court-appointed panel looking into
scandals last year in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).
individual was not involved in match-fixing activities. This individual
was not involved in scuttling investigations into match-fixing," the
panel's report said.
The panel, headed by former judge Mukul
Mudgal, submitted its findings in a sealed envelope to the top court
earlier this month but they were only released on Monday.
report was expected to pave the way for Srinivasan to resume his
position as head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI),
which was scheduled to hold elections later this month.
had barred Srinivasan from carrying out his duties as BCCI president
until it delivered its final verdict, although it did not stop him from
heading the International Cricket Council. He was appointed chairman of
the world body in June.
The panel honed in on Srinivasan and three
others including his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team
principal of the Chennai Super Kings franchise.
cleared of match-fixing but the panel was "unanimous" that he had been
involved in betting activities during the glitzy, scandal-tainted
Twenty20 tournament.Gambling is mostly illegal in India, but betting on cricket matches thrives through networks of underground bookies.
Super Kings are owned by India Cements, whose managing director is
Srinivasan, while the team is captained by India skipper Mahendra Dhoni.
sixth IPL season last year was mired in controversy after police
launched legal proceedings against several IPL officials and cricketers,
including former Test fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, for illegal
betting and spot-fixing.
The panel also found that IPL chief
executive Sundar Raman knew a bookmaker's associate and "contacted him
eight times in one season", according to its report released on Monday.
Raman admitted knowing the contact of the bookie, however (he) claimed
to be unaware of his connection with betting activities," the report
There was also "material on record to indicate" that Raj Kundra, owner of the Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise, placed bets.
"The individual was in touch with bookies and he had violated the anti-corruption code," the report concluded.
Verma of the Cricket Association of Bihar, which had petitioned the
court for Srinivasan's removal, maintained despite Monday's report that
he should be sacked and said the affair had tarnished the organisation.
IPL, which began in 2008, features the world's top players signed up
for huge fees by companies and high-profile individuals in a mix of
sport and entertainment.
With its massive TV audiences, India
generates almost 70 percent of the game's revenues and several Test
nations are heavily dependent on its largesse.