A day after the International Cricket Council (ICC) issued a letter to Anurag Thakur, BCCI’s secretary, to stay away from suspected bookies, Thakur took a direct dig at the governing body’s chairman N Srinivasan, questioning him about the “timing” of the release and also asking him to share the details of suspected bookies to Srinivasan’s family members, “whose involvement in betting has been proved”.
The ICC letter had come from the offices of the CEO Dave Richardson, but by replying to Srinivasan, Thakur has made the battle a personal one.
Until now there hasn’t been a one-on-one between former BCCI chief Srinivasan and his rvials — who are now part of the Indian board’s new regime. Even in Sunday’s working committee meeting the issue of Srinivasan’s alleged involvement in snooping on board members wasn’t discussed but Thakur has made the spat public through an open letter.
The most stinging line in the letter came in the end when he not only asked Srinivasan to share the details of suspected bookies to BCCI but also to Srinivasan’s family members.
“I would request at least now share with me or other colleagues in BCCI the list of suspected bookies in India so that we may keep away from them. You may also share this information with your family members whose involvement in betting has been proved,” he said.
The letter was a reaction to ICC’s warning to Thakur to stay away from Karan Gilhotra, a man seen in photographs with the BCCI secretary, a man alleged to be a bookie. “The BCCI has received intimation from the ICC ostensibly under your direction that I should keep away from one Mr. Karan Gilhotra who is a ‘suspected bookie’. The intimation further states that the information is further unverified,” Thakur wrote.
“I have earlier been Joint Secretary of the BCCI under your Presidentship and I am now Secretary BCCI. I only wish that you had shared the list of ‘unverified suspected bookies’ with me and other colleagues so that we could identify such persons and keep away from them. I have known this person, who has been active in political and cricketing activities in Punjab and adjacent states. I had no knowledge or any clue about his ‘activities as a suspected bookie’,” he said.
‘Gunde, your friend’
Thakur also took on Neeraj Gunde, the man who sent the photo of Thakur with Gilhotra to the ICC. “It is curious that intimation about having known this ‘suspected bookie’ was brought to the ICC notice by your friend Mr. Gunde. He incidentally is circulating to the media the details of documents against your critics in the BCCI. He operates on your behalf.”
“Since the ICC advisory to me had been made in public I would be making this letter to you public,” Thakur wrote in the letter addressed to Srinivasan on a BCCI letter-head.