The Indian cricket board will probe fresh revelations made by B B Misra, the former chief investigator of the IPL spot-fixing scandal, to The Indian Express, including that a top cricketer was under suspicion for contacts with a bookie in 2008-09.
Vinod Rai, who heads the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA), said the board’s anti-corruption unit has been instructed to probe the details.
“We have read the reports, looked into them and will take the necessary steps. As the board doesn’t have any record or evidence about the particular findings, as it was not given to the board and which only the court has access to, we will ask the court to provide them. Also, we have informed the anti-corruption unit chief, and he will take further steps after studying the events,” Rai told reporters on Monday.
In a series of reports last week, Misra told The Indian Express that a senior cricketer, who was part of the 2011 World Cup winning team, was under suspicion for his alleged contact with a known bookie before an international match in the 2008-09 season.
Misra said that he couldn’t probe the alleged incident because it was not part of his charter, which was about corruption allegations against of BCCI office-bearers, specifically former BCCI chief N Srinivasan, his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and ex-IPL COO Sundar Raman. Kundra and Gurunath Meiyappan, the Chennai Super Kings team official, were later handed life bans for betting.
Misra also said that he had stumbled upon a “nexus” between agents who run player-management companies and senior cricketers who have stakes in such enterprises.
Besides, the former IPS officer highlighted what he said were “contradictions” in statements made by Kundra to the Justice Mukul Mudgal probe committee and to him. After initially denying any contact with bookies, Misra said, Kundra allegedly admitted that a known bookie had left a gold chain and sweets at his house.
Misra maintained that as many as nine players were investigated but only the findings regarding the officials were revealed — his report on the players is with the Supreme Court.
CoA chief Rai said that the board is trying to step up measures to prevent corruption. “We don’t want to single out any state or unit. But with the possibility of corruption in mind, we have decided to beef up our overall system. Earlier, the anti-corruption unit worked with one-two persons, but soon we will make our presence felt in every zone. We will appoint experienced people who have worked closely in the zones and with other intelligence agencies, people who know how things work and know how to prevent it,” Rai said.
As for allegations of lesser-know outstation players trying to bribe their way into new teams that will make their domestic debut this season, Rai said the BCCI will soon put up a set of guidelines on its website on the guest-player model.
“We don’t wish to say something and have the state associations say that we interpreted it wrongly. The state associations are free to interpret the constitution the way they want to and we will file compliance the way they have interpreted it. We will put out a model since some states have asked for it,” Rai said.
Regarding conflict of interest allegations, Rai said he would recommend that all state bodies appoint an ombudsman and ethics officer. “Neither do we have the wherewithal nor do we have the mandate to look into every such instance. So I would advise every unit to have an ombudsman and ethics officer, who can address these issues,” he said.
Misra joined the IPL probe in 2014 on the Supreme Court’s orders after the Justice Mudgal Committee, in its first report on allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the 2013 IPL, mentioned several cases of suspected sporting fraud.
During his four-month probe till October 31, 2014, he questioned over 100 people, including 30 players and top officials. His findings were part of Justice Mudgal’s final report that was submitted to the Supreme Court. Misra is now with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).