Back as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president after a Supreme Court ruling, under-fire N Srinivasan said on Wednesday, that his conscience was clear and he did not quit his post despite calls for his ouster since he has done nothing wrong.
Asked if his conscience allowed him to continue as the BCCI president even after his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was chargesheeted by Mumbai Police in connection with the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal, Srinivasan said there was no issue of morality involved as he had not done anything wrong.
“Most certainly, I would not have taken up the position if I felt otherwise. And, as I said in the beginning I stand for what I do. If I have done something wrong, yes, my conscience would not permit me. But in this case it was not so that is what I said in the very beginning,” Srinivasan said.
“If this is the road we want to travel, then in a sense we differ [from each other] then. If that is your view, you are entitle to,” he told ‘Times Now’.
In a big relief to Srinivasan, the Supreme Court allowed him to take charge as BCCI President even as it constituted a three-member committee headed by former Punjab & Haryana Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal to inquire into the allegation of betting and spot-fixing against his son-in-law and owners of Rajasthan Royals.
The Tamil Nadu strongman vehemently denied that he had a hand in the appointment of an earlier probe panel of two retired judges to inquire into the IPL scandal, which was later ruled “illegal” by the Bombay High Court.
“You have to understand that I did not get involved into the investigation on Gurunath. When this issue was raked up, I had stepped aside. These two judges were appointed by the BCCI after I had stepped aside. I did not appoint the committee. I was not the BCCI president then,” Srinivasan said.
“The probe panel was formed by the BCCI Working Committee when I was not present. I did not even see the report. When I said I stepped aside, I mean I stepped aside completely. I did not have access to the report,” he said.
“I am not the person to answer the functionality of the probe committee because I was not involved. As far as Sreesanth’s case is concerned, ACSU conduction the enquiry. Ravi Savani was there. Two judges were appointed. I was not involved in the appointment, functioning, probe or how many meeting were held.”
Srinivasan had called the likes of S Sreesanth and other players who were handed bans by the BCCI for their alleged involvement in the IPL scandal as “rotten eggs” while terming Meiyappan as a “cricket enthusiast”.
Asked if he was being double standard, he said, “I think you are taking things out of context. I have not responded differently. The phraseology I used, I do not remember. I do not remember exactly what I said. You may quote anything, that is OK. So many things have been said about me also.
Asked whether he has sleepless nights in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal, he said “No, I sleep well.”
Srinivasan refused to answer questions on his son-in-law Meiyappan’s involvement in the scandal, saying the matter was sub-judice and it will not be proper on his part to get into a discussion on the issue.
“I am not going into the matter concerning Gurunath, which is a subject matter of Supreme Court. Why should I go into a matter which is sub-judice,” Srinivasan said.
“There are some allegations and somebody is looking after them. The thing is I was not involved in the setting up of the (earlier) probe panel. I stepped aside on June 2 and the probe panel was set up by the BCCI Working Committee on June 10.
“I have been under a savaged attack from the media. The media might have wanted me to go but I am blameless and so I stayed put. I am not an accused,” he said.
He said the BCCI members reposed faith on him in the September 29 AGM despite what had happened.
“I was elected unanimously as president at the AGM.
Despite that the members were asked whether they have faith in me in the light of all that had been happening and they said yes. They reposed faith on me,” he said.
Srinivasan said he would stay away from the investigation of the probe panel set up by the Supreme Court and will cooperate with the inquiry according to what the apex court told him.
“I have been told not to get involved in IPL matters and cooperate with the probe. I will do exactly what the Supreme Court has said,” he said.