New Delhi: Former India cricketer Kirti Azad on Wednesday questioned the BCCI's logic behind setting up an inquiry commission to probe the spot-fixing scandal that had rocked IPL 5, saying police should have investigated the matter. Azad said the BCCI has no authority to conduct a criminal investigation on its own and the five players should have been booked by police for their involvement in spot-fixing.
"Why were the five players caught not booked? BCCI is no authority to conduct criminal investigation. The police should have handled such a matter," said Azad at a FICCI conference on regulating sports betting in New Delhi. "Before regulating betting, one should regulate sports associations first. That is where the Government is losing out a lot of income through taxes," he added.
BCCI had suspended five uncapped Indian players pending completion of an inquiry after a television sting operation claimed to have exposed corruption in the cash-rich IPL. The cricket board ordered a preliminary inquiry into the incident by Ravi Sawani, the former chief of the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit, who is now heading the BCCI's newly set-up Anti-Corruption Unit.
The five players are TP Sudhindra (Deccan Chargers), Mohnish Mishra (Pune Warriors), Amit Yadav (Kings XI Punjab), Shalabh Srivastava (Kings XI Punjab) and Abhinav Bali, a Delhi cricketer, who now represents Himachal Pradesh.
Azad, a vocal critic of IPL, sat on a hunger strike outside the Feroz Shah Kotla ground here on May 20, demanding that the IPL, which has been a hit by a series a controversies, be scrapped. Retired Justice Mukul Mudgal, who was also present at the function, said, "Around 20,000 crore could be earned through taxes per annum if betting is legalised."