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IPL match-fixing saga has disrespected the nation, says Kirti Azad

Kirti Azad
Kirti Azad (centre) says that the owners have gone scot-free in the IPL match-fixing saga © Getty Images

Feb 11, 2014

Reacting to the indiction of Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N Srinivasan, for betting and spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former cricketer Kirti Azad on Monday said such incidents not only disrespected the game but the whole nation.

“These incidents not only disrespect the game but the nation as well. There is always news of rave parties, molestations, spot-fixing and match-fixing. Why do such incidents happen only in IPL and not in One Day Internationals (ODIs), Twenty 20s (T20s) and First-Class cricket?” asked Azad.

“There are several corporate houses and film stars who want to be in news. Every franchise and film star wants to stay in news and controversy in some or the other way before their film releases and that is understandable. But cricket does not need controversies as the game in itself is a form of entertainment,” he said.

“The politicians are then ones to blame because they use their power and might and hence the actual emphasis that should be there in the investigation are not there. They themselves become the judge and police and set up an internal enquiry,” he added.

He further said that in such incidents it was always the cricketers who were blamed for everything, but the owners were never caught.

“It is always the cricketers who are fined or banned but the owners are never caught. It should not be like that. The owners are equally involved and they should be investigated first and foremost,” said Azad.

The Justice Mudgal Committee has indicted Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI chief Srinivasan, of betting and spot-fixing during the sixth edition of the IPL last year.

The committee, which submitted its 170 page report to the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday, has alleged that Meiyappan was involved in spot-fixing and betting on matches.

The report described Meiyappan as the face of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and rubbished the claims of the BCCI chief that Meiyappan was ‘mere cricket enthusiast’.

The report has asked the court to consider the conflict of interest in Srinivasan holding the post of BCCI chief and also being the owner of the Chennai Super Kings.

The court will now study the report and will be taking it on March 7.

The committee has also stated that Rajasthan Royals (RR) owner Raj Kundra was also involved in betting and spot-fixing. The report says that the allegations against Kundra need to be further investigated.

The committee was formed by the Supreme Court following the betting scandal which had erupted last year. It is headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, and was probing charges of betting and spot-fixing during IPL 2013.

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