‘Board's work is done by the court’
‘BCCI has to be proactive to re-impose faith in the minds of the people’
‘Srinivasan should have stepped down in 2013, no individual is ahead of institution’
‘A probe by an independent body like the CBI is required because, the BCCI does not have investigating powers’
Former Board of Control for Cricket in India president Shashank Manohar squarely blamed Narayanaswami Srinivasan for the mess in the high-profile Indian Premier League, saying that he was the ‘root of all scandals’ and should immediately step down as the International Cricket Council chairman.
In a scathing attack against Srinivasan, Manohar said that the BCCI had not taken any timely action to cleanse the game and has no choice now but to comply with the Lodha Committee's recommendations.
Manohar's attack came just a day ahead of the IPL's Governing Council Meeting in Mumbai where the future course of action and the implication of Lodha Committee's verdict on suspending Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years will be discussed.
"Srinivasan should have stepped down in 2013, no individual is ahead of institution and he too is the root of all scandals and should immediately step down from his position as chairman of ICC," he said.
Manohar, who met BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, on Friday, to discuss the issue, also said that IPL's Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman should be removed and CBI should conduct a thorough inquiry to restore the faith of the public in the game.
"The BCCI (under Srinivasan) has done nothing to improve its image and now the Board has no option but to implement Lodha Committee's findings," Manohar said.
He insisted that the BCCI's indifference compelled the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee to take action.
"There has been no action from the BCCI to clean the mess and the Board's work is done by the court. BCCI has to be proactive and look at the interest of the institution and not that of an individual in order to re-impose faith in the minds of the people," he said.
He strongly felt that Raman should have been removed immediately after the Mudgal Committee report was made public.
"Raman should have gone immediately after the Mudgal Committee report found him prima facie guilty of wrongdoings. He ought to have stepped down immediately at that time. Now, to restore the faith of people in IPL and the game, Raman needs to go," he added.
Manohar reiterated that the CBI should probe the spot-fixing scandal as the Board has no investigating resources.
"According to me, a probe by an independent body like the CBI is required. Because, the BCCI does not have investigating powers. It is only the CBI which has the instigative power all over India, including in different states," he said.
On speculation that the BCCI could run the suspended teams for a period of two years, Manohar, an eminent lawyer, said that the Board rules do not permit that.
"If you ask me my personal opinion, the BCCI cannot adopt the teams because the rules and regulations of the Board did not permit to do so," he said.
"Moreover, will a BCCI official sit at the player auction and bid for players. It will be again conflict of interest and the public perception on this issue is really bad. Then you will bring back the two teams on a platter, I don't think it can be done," said the former BCCI chief.
Manohar, however, wants the IPL to continue, saying that the tournament as such cannot be blamed for all these issues.
"IPL is a fine product and it needs to go on. But it should be a clean tournament and the mess will have to be cleaned up," he said.
Asked about his reaction on the Lodha Committee verdict,
Manohar said, "I don't want to react on the Lodha Committee recommendations. According to Supreme Court judgement, whatever findings the Lodha Committee give will be binding on the BCCI. The BCCI has no other option."
On whether the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals could be terminated altogether, he said, "You have to see the rules and regulations of the contract the two teams had with the IPL and I am not aware of these things. I can't comment on that."
"No injustice was done to the two teams, their players can be accommodated to other teams in a fresh auction," he added.
On what discussed with Dalmiya, he said, "We discussed this issue of corruption and how to go ahead, how to eradicate this corruption."
On Tuesday, the Lodha Committee recommended suspension of two IPL franchises -- Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals -- for two years from the cash-rich league for betting activities of their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra during the 2013 season.
The committee also banned CSK team principal Meiyappan and Royals' co-owner Kundra for life from any cricket-related activity after they were found guilty of placing bets.
Image: Shashank Manohar
Photograph: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com