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Did BCCI ignore warnings of corruption in IPL?


Sanjeeb Mukherjea,CNN-IBN
Jun 25, 2013 at 08:11pm IST

New Delhi: For nearly a month Indian cricket faced an unprecedented crisis, with the Indian cricket board arguing relentlessly that a few rotten apples were responsible for the controversies. But CNN-IBN on Tuesday reported that the BCCI and its boss ignored warnings of corruption having reached the very top of the IPL.

On May 31, after CNN-IBN revealed the Mumbai Police's claim that the ICC had alerted the BCCI about Gurunath Meiyappan's alleged betting links, the Indian cricket board went into denial mode almost immediately.

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But the documents accessed by CNN-IBN of the ICC's April Board meeting suggest that isn't quite true. At this meeting, the head of the ICC's anti corruption unit YP Singh raised questions about owners of certain domestic franchises. A timely warning in hindsight, especially with two IPL team owners coming under police investigation, although there was no evidence to suggest that Singh had raised concerns about Meiyappan and Raj Kundra in particular.

While it isn't sure whether Singh's concerns fell on deaf ears, BCCI chief N Srinivasan, who attended the April Board meet, was apprised of the same, thus raising some key questions.

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Were YP Singh's concerns taken seriously at all by the BCCI since the IPL started right after this meeting? Who were the owners with suspect identity Singh had red-flagged? Did IPL CEO Sundar Raman ensure all owners and team officials in the IPL conformed to required standards of eligibility?

In the wake of these documents, can the BCCI still refute the fact that they were told of the existence of such nefarious elements?

Interestingly, the ICC's Anti Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) didn't stop just there. It proposed tougher strictures about the minimum standards for players and match officials areas, such as team dug outs and other vantage points. But as CNN-IBN learned, cricket administrators themselves do not seem to be on the same page with the anti-corruption sleuths.

Reacting to a Cricket Australia proposal to allow internet connections within these areas to allow live data transfer for match analysis, the ACSU chief warned of its potential danger, but as these documents establish, Srinivasan along with a representative of the South African board, rejected those fears. Such departures from minimum anti-corruption standards would not only be tough for the ACSU to monitor, but also give credence to the fear that cricket administrators themselves are yet to fully understand the pressing need for stricter vigilance.

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