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N Srinivasan not regretting buying IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings

N Srinivasan said the city of Chennai needed an IPL team and hence he bid for one © IANS
N Srinivasan said the city of Chennai needed an IPL team and hence he bid for one © IANS

New Delhi: Jul 6, 2014

N Srinivasan said that buying Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was the right decision. The supremo of India Cements, which owns the high-profile Chennai franchise in the IPL, seemed at ease when asked about his detractors.

“People who do not have a stake but have access to media are making lot of comments… people who do not have that much support in BCCI are also being vocal. I think it will be the achievements and our results that will speak,” the cricket administrator told NDTV.

Asked if buying an IPL team was a mistake, the new International Cricket Council (ICC) chief he seemed to be favour of it.

“The concept was that there would be bidding for eight cities and the top eight bids would get the franchise. It was at that moment that I asked the question because if for example nobody had bid for Chennai, people of Chennai would not have a franchise. The cricket lover in me said, people would embrace the team. Today the players of the team have been literally adopted by the people of Chennai.

“Now let’s put the other way round if Chennai, one of the original Test centre was left without any franchise, I, being part of the BCCI watching that happen, would not have forgiven myself.”

He was also asked about the issue of conflict of interest that has been haunting him for a while.

“India Cements is a public company but I am not permanent in Board of Control in Cricket in India (BCCI). When my term will be over I will have nothing to do, it is not permanently attached. I don’t view any of this public position as something that you have to hang on to forever.”

He said it has always been a habit with India Cements to employ cricketers.

“Employing cricketers has been a habit. You must understand when we ask a cricketer to play for our team we prefer to employ him so that he knows that he has got a job and security and if finishes his cricket he can go into marketing and walk into some other part of the company.

“Today you can say that IPL gives you a lot of money but it was not there till day before yesterday.”

He further said, “For example, if you talk of former captains do you know that Rahul Dravid joined India Cements when he left college, before he played Ranji trophy. We spotted the talent, we invited him to play that can’t be a fault. This company is all about cricket and relates to cricketers.

On his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s alleged involved in the IPL scandal, he said, “A charge-sheet has been filed. It is for police to prove it and Meiyappan to defend it. I cannot say anything about this now. I won’t say that it has brought murk to my family life.

“My daughter is very close to me and granddaughters and everybody is close to me. This is something that has to be cleared up. I have taken a lot of flak for it but one has to be fair on both sides. Let the trial happen.”

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