New Delhi: In a big blow to the Rajasthan Royals, the Board of Cricket Control in India has suspended the franchise's co-owner Raj Kundra pending inquiry into the IPL scandal. The decision was taken in the BCCI's emergent working committee meeting on Monday.
Also the committee decided that the same probe panel, comprising of Justice R Balasubranian and Justice Jayaram T Chouta, which is inquiring into the IPL spot-fixing case will inquire Kundra's involvement in betting. The meeting also saw the spot-fixing probe report by BCCI's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) chief Ravi Sawani being tabled, with the committee deciding to forward it to the Disciplinary Committee.
Reacting to the BCCI's action, Kundra's lawyer Majeed Memon said, "It appears to be a rash decision. It has been done without a showcause, what accusation do they have?" "It's gross injustice if the BCCI hasn't even asked him if he did betting," Memon added.
This came after the Delhi Police said that Kundra has admitted to betting on the Rajasthan Royals matches during the IPL. Kundra, during police interrogation, had admitted to betting on matches of his own team. The police had said that Kundra placed bets through his aide and team co-owner Umesh Goenka.
"Kundra used to place bets for the past three years. Kundra placed bets with Goenka. Goenka was a bookie and forwarded bets to others on behalf of Kundra," a senior police official had said.
Another police official, SN Srivastava of the Special Cell, had said that during questioning, Kundra mentioned that he was placing bets for the last three years and the amount that he lost, "all put together, was to be around Rs 1 crore".
Kundra's suspension has put the future of the Rajasthan Royals under the radar. The BCCI's legal team brought members up to date about the possible termination scenarios for both Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
As per clause 11.3 (C) of the franchise agreement, a team can be terminated in the event of any of the owners bringing the game into disrepute. Kundra and his wife Shilpa Shetty have 11.7 per cent stakes in Rajasthan Royals through Kuki Investment. Suresh Chellaram and Family (Tresco International Limited) have the bulk of the shares with 44.2 per cent while Manoj Badale (Emerging Media) has 32.4 per cent stakes. Lachlan Murdoch (Blue Water Estate Limited) has 11.7 per cent stakes.
The board also considered the possibility of handing out bans at this stage to the three arrested players - S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan. Suggestions will be invited from all quarters, including franchisees, to ensure that the IPL is conducted in the best possible manner, BCCI statement said.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Cricket Association President Ravi Sawant has been appointed as the new BCCI Treasurer at the board's emergent working committee meeting that was taking place on Monday. The post of the Treasurer was vacant after Ajay Shirke had resigned with the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal hit the board's credibility.