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Supreme Court warns BCCI against killing cricket

MUMBAI: The Supreme Court today warned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against killing the game of cricket. “The BCCI must uphold the glory of the game. If you allow these things to happen, then you are killing the game of cricket,” the apex court told the BCCI.

“You will have to address questions of conflict of interest as head of the BCCI and also as owner of an IPL team whose official is found to be involved in betting,” the apex court told N Srinivasan

“You can’t make a distinction between the BCCI and the IPL. The IPL is a by-product of the BCCI.” The Supreme Court also noted that team ownership raises conflicts of interest. “Some people who are in the BCCI now own a team. It has become a mutual benefit society. President of the BCCI has to run the show but you have a team which raises questions and it can’t be wished away.

“One of the employees [Meiyappan] of your team was involved in betting. You have to reply because it will affect the position and the dignity of the BCCI president position. The benefit of doubt should go to the game and not an individual. If people know that a game is fixed, who will visit the stadium? In India, cricket is like a religion. Recognition comes when one lakh people in Eden Gardens applaud.”

The apex court further claimed that it was wrong to assume that Srinivasan had got a clean chit. The Supreme Court also endorsed Justice Mudgal’s report saying, “We take the findings of Justice Mudgal Committee’s report as gospel truth.”

The hearing continues tomorrow afternoon.

On Twitter former IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi wrote, “All BCCI members who prematurely voted in favour of Srini and gang must be disallowed or banned to participate in cricket activity. CSK and RR must be cancelled. If owners indulge in betting activity, the rule book must be thrown at them. Raman should be locked up too. I agree conflict of interest must go. Further, the guilty must be punished and made example off. Can’t sweep it under the carpet. Told BCCI it’s not over—in fact the cleanup exercise has just begun—any cleanup takes time and meets resistance”.