Mumbai: May 15, 2012
Five uncapped Indian players were on Tuesday suspended with immediate effect pending completion of an inquiry as a rattled Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cracked the whip on tainted cricketers in the wake of a television sting operation which claimed to have exposed corruption in the cash-rich Indian Premier League.
BCCI, headquartered at Mumbai, is the national governing body for all cricket in India.
The strong action to suspend Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, T P Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali was taken after a lengthy tele-conference of top BCCI officials and members of the IPL's Governing Council.
The BCCI decided to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the incident by Ravi Sawani, the former chief of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit who is now heading the BCCI's newly set-up Anti-Corruption Unit.
"The IPL Governing Council met on teleconference today at 2:30pm and they recommended to the BCCI President for strict action against those players who were found guilty and found suspicious on the television footage shown on India TV," IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla told reporters here.
"Since it also involved matter relating to other matches and previous IPL, it was referred to the President. The president after due consideration has decided to have a preliminary inquiry for which a commissioner has been appointed. Mr Ravi Sawani who was the ICC ACSU chief and now advisor will conduct the inquiry and he will submit a report to the Disciplinary Committee," he said.
"Pending inquiry the five players have been suspended from all cricket activities with immediate effect. We will await the report of the preliminary inquiry and proper action will be taken only after that," he added.
Television channel India TV yesterday claimed to have blown the lid off "murky deals" in the IPL among players, organisers, owners and big guns of Indian cricket.
That some tough measures would be taken against the players was evident when the BCCI president N Srinivasan, who is currently at Kodaikanal, made it clear that no player would be spared if found guilty.
He admitted that he was surprised by the sting operation and reiterated the BCCI's zero tolerance towards corruption in cricket.
"We will not tolerate this nonsense. We have zero tolerance on corruption and you will not be disappointed by the action we take," he said.
"Some evidence have been found against some players," he added.
The TV sting operation which was aired at prime time yesterday created a flutter in the Indian cricket establishment prompting the BCCI to react quickly. It took less than 24 hours for the cricket body to take action against the players.
The channel had claimed it had done a sting operation in which many players confessed on hidden camera they get much more than their prescribed auction under the table.
According to the channel, its operation also revealed that spot-fixing is not only prevalent in IPL but also that first class matches are fixed and women played an important role in match-fixing.
The IPL's Governing Council had sought video footage from the TV channel and is understood to have scrutinised the tapes before taking the decision of suspending the players.(PTI)