Head of India’s cricket board refuses to quit



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Head of
India’s cricket board agrees to temporary step-down during investigation into
betting scandal. Aljazeer puts it this way- “India’s cricket chief
defied calls to quit over a betting scandal that has blighted the country’s top
domestic competition, despite his son-in-law being arrested over the scandal.
Narayanaswami
Srinivasan agreed on Sunday to step aside to allow an investigation to take
place, the  Board of Control for Cricket
in India (BCCI) announced, but stopped short of tendering a permanent
resignation.
Srinivasan’s
son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested on May 24 for allegedly taking part
in illegal betting on the multi-billion-dollar Indian Premier League (IPL),
which is currently the subject of multiple police investigations.
Meiyappan
is a business executive for the most successful IPL franchise, the Chennai
Super Kings, which is owned by 68-year-old Srinivasan, who has also headed the
BCCI since 2011.
“Mr.
N Srinivasan announced that he will not discharge his duties as the president
of the board till such time that the probe is completed,” said a statement
after the meeting.
Srinivasan
had called the board meeting following the resignation of two senior IPL
officials.
BCCI
secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke and IPL chairman Rajiv
Shukla quit in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal in the cricket league, in
which players stand accused of performing poorly on purpose.
The board
said that Jagmohan Dalmiya, a controversial former president of the BCCI from
2001-2004, “will conduct the day-to-day affairs of the board” during
Srinivasan’s absence, which will last until the investigation is brought to a
close.
Srinivasan
described his decision to step aside “an extraordinarily fair step”,
saying the meeting was smooth and free from acrimony.
Dogged by allegations
The
scandal in the money-spinning IPL, a Twenty20 tournament which sees top
international stars play alongside domestic players, has again shaken the faith
of fans in what is overwhelmingly India’s most popular sport.
The arrest
of Srinivasan’s son-in-law came after Test medium-fast bowler Shanthakumaran
Sreesanth and two teammates in the IPL’s Rajasthan Royals, Ankeet Chavan and
Ajit Chandila, were taken into custody.
All the
accused deny any wrongdoing.
Police
allege the players deliberately bowled badly in exchange for tens of thousands
of dollars after striking deals with bookmakers.
Meiyappan,
who is still in custody, is being investigated for allegedly passing
information to bookies and illegally placing bets on the IPL.
The IPL is
the sport’s most lucrative league and has changed the landscape of world
cricket with its mix of sport, Bollywood glamour, and American-style
cheerleaders and television advertising breaks.
While it
makes big money, the annual tournament has been dogged by allegations of corporate
corruption, money-laundering and tax evasion, as well as secret deals to hide
teams’ real ownersˮ.
 Source:  Agencies
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