'My stand, pertaining to transparency and responsibility in the system, is vindicated.
'These people are neither cricketers nor administrators. They are just businessmen who happen to see cricket as a major source of income."
In the wake of BCCI president N Srinivasan being asked to step down by the Supreme Court, former India cricketer and parliamentarian Kirti Azad speaks with Bikash Mohapatra.
In a significant development on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of India asked N Srinivasan to step down as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India to ensure a fair probe in the Indian Premier League 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal.
A bench, headed by Justice A K Patnaik, said unless the BCCI president steps down, no fair probe can be conducted. At the same time, the court warned Srinivasan that it will pass a verdict should he not follow its direction.
The apex body’s stand was met with diverse response. Those (related to the board) palpably refrained from making any comments.
“It’s way too early to say anything on this,” said former BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah, before excusing himself from making another statement.
There were others, though, who welcomed the court’s stand.
“It is better late than never,” said former cricketer and parliamentarian Kirti Azad.
“My stand, pertaining to transparency and responsibility in the system, is vindicated,” he added, proceeding to elaborate on his point.
“These people are neither cricketers nor administrators,” he continued, adding, “They are just businessmen who happen to see cricket as a major source of income.”
“As a former cricketer, I am happy, but there’s nothing to rejoice.”
Azad, who had opposed the IPL and demanded it to be banned in the aftermath of the scandal, expressed hope that the apex body will continue to hunt down the corrupt officials in the BCCI.
“It is good that the honourable court has taken a step and used a whip on these megalomaniacs,” he said.
“But these people can do anything. I hope they don’t defy the honourable court,” continued Azad, adding, “I hope the Supreme Court keeps a vice-like grip on these corrupt people who have brought a bad name to the game for their vested interests.”
Many of the top BCCI officials weren’t available for comment, despite repeated attempts.
The BCCI, which earlier pleaded before the court not to disclose the contents and names of players mentioned in the report, has now been left running for cover following the Supreme Court’s tough stand.