Will not be IPL chairman again, says Shukla
Upset over the spot-fixing scandal and a series of other controversies that have plagued the Indian Premier League, Rajeev Shukla, the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament's chairman, declared on Wednesday that he will not take up the job again.
"IPL chief is a one-year post which gets renewed every year in the AGM, but I don't intend to do the job for a third year," said Shukla.
"I am not craving for any position in the BCCI. My job was to organise the matches, and the matches were well-organised. The stadiums were packed irrespective of the controversies.
"I have never hankered for any position. When the IPL chairman's position was given to me, I took it up as a challenge and I did my job to the best of my ability," he added.
Shukla said there was lot of discussion among Board of Control for Cricket in India members over N Srinivasan continuing as its president in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal.
"Discussion among BCCI members has already taken place and our immediate concern is to protect the image of BCCI and Indian cricket," he said.
Image: Rajeev Shukla
'The reputation of the IPL cannot be tarnished'
Shukla, who was named IPL chairman last year, replacing Chirayu Amin, said the event was going on fine till the spot-fixing scandal broke, and restoring its credibility is important now.
"Misdeeds of a few players and certain people cannot and should not bring bad name to hundreds of players who participated in the IPL with full honesty. The reputation of the IPL cannot be tarnished by a few greedy individuals," he said.
Asked what steps should be taken to restore the credibility of the tournament, he replied: "The anti-corruption wing must work in coordination with the police agencies.
"Keeping an eye on bookies is the job of police. The second suggestion which I have accepted already is that one ACSU official should be attached with each team throughout the tournament because he will be able to make out which is a rotten egg in the entire basket.
"Third suggestion is whoever is caught should be punished severely by the law of the land. It will teach them a lesson. And, lastly, there should be a provision in the contract of the players if anyone is found indulging in corruption, he should be criminally prosecuted."
Image: Shanthakumaran Sreesanth is taken to a court by police personnel in New Delhi
Organising the tournament
Shukla said anti-corruption is not in his domain as the IPL chairman's job is to organise the tournament.
"Anti-corruption is entirely the responsibility of the ICC and the BCCI. That's why the ICC and BCCI ACSU was looking after IPL. They don't report to IPL chief, they report to the ICC and BCCI," he explained.
In the aftermath of the scandal, a three-member BCCI inquiry committee was formed to probe BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan, who has been arrested for alleged betting.
The committee is also enquiring into spot-fixing allegations against three Rajasthan Royals players and its franchise.
Image: Rajeev Shukla presents the Fair Play award to MS Dhoni as Sanjay Jagdale looks on
'Srinivasan should disassociate himself from the entire procedure'
Former judge of the Karnataka and Madras high courts T Jayaram Chouta, Justice R Balasubramanian, former judge of the Madras high court, and BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale are members of the commission.
"My view that the recommendation of the three-member commission should be binding on the BCCI. It should not go to the BCCI working committee.
"As far as Srinivasan is concerned, we are of the view that pending the inquiry, he should disassociate himself from the entire procedure, he should stay away from all functional responsibility so that a free and fair inquiry can take place," opined Shukla.
Asked whether he had any inkling of spot-fixing taking place in the IPL, Shukla said, "If I had any information I would have cracked down. We did not have any idea that such things were happening."
Image: N Srinivasan
Photographs: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters