A day after his alleged conversation with an Uttar Pradesh cricketer, in which he was heard asking for prostitutes as a condition for the player’s selection to the state side was telecast on a news channel, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla’s executive assistant Mohammad Akram Saifi has resigned.
He confirmed the development, while denying all charges. “I have submitted my resignation to the board CEO Rahul (Johri) sir and Rajeev sir. Truth will come out soon. All allegations against me are baseless.”
The player, Rahul Sharma, on News1 channel, also charged Saifi of being involved in corruption and issuing fake age certificates. Earlier in the day, the BCCI asked its Anti-Corruption Unit chief Ajit Singh to probe the matter and submit a report. Singh has sought audio tapes from the channel in this regard.
The board will seek an explanation from Akram; as per Rule 32 of the BCCI regulations, any complaint of misconduct is to be subject to the adjudication of a commissioner, who will be appointed by the BCCI president. The commissioner will have to submit a report in 15 days and the matter will then be passed on to the disciplinary committee.
Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association joint secretary Yudhveer Singh distanced the state body from the matter, and also alleged that Rahul Sharma has no “credibility”. “We are open to any inquiry. We follow a very transparent selection process at the UPCA. I can’t comment on the conversation between the two as it is their personal matter,” he told PTI.
“I have checked about Rahul Sharma and found out that he has never even been a part of the state probables. He has no credibility.”
As the sordid affair played out, former Uttar Pradesh cricketers Mohammad Kaif and RP Singh demanded a thorough investigation.
“Shocked to hear about the extent of corruption in UP Cricket. Young talent being curbed by corrupt agents asking for favours. Hope @ShuklaRajiv ji ensures a fair investigation and justice to the young talent & helps restore UP Cricket. I stand by all those who have been exploited.” Kaif tweeted.
RP Singh tweeted: “Corruption has been the root cause for the sad state of UP cricket and it stands exposed today. Shame that the future of young talent and UP cricket is compromised for personal gains. Hope fair investigation would help restore the dignity of the sport to its former glory.”