Pressure mounts on Indian cricket chief to resign

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 June, 2013, 4:58am


Pressure increased yesterday on the beleaguered president of India's cricket board, N. Srinivasan, to resign - a day after two top cricketing officials quit over an escalating spot-fixing scandal.

Board joint secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke submitted their resignations to the president on Friday.

Their resignations which threw the running of the cricket body into fresh turmoil were front-page news in Indian newspapers with The Times of India declaring in a headline "Game all but over for Srinivasan".

On Friday evening, the isolated BCCI chief ruled out his resignation. Srinivasan has been pushed to step down after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested last week for allegedly betting on Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.

Meiyappan, an executive at the Chennai Super Kings IPL team, which is owned by Srinivasan's business empire India Cements, is being investigated by a three-member BCCI commission.

Arun Jaitley, vice-president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), hinted to reporters in New Delhi that a shake-up was in the offing for the world's richest cricket body.

"You'll hear something significant," Jaitley said when asked by journalists to comment on media reports that all five BCCI vice-presidents, including himself, were ready to resign if Srinivasan refused to quit. Jaitley did not elaborate.

The resignation of the BCCI secretary and treasurer came just six days after the BCCI boss insisted he had the board's unanimous support.

Indian news channel NDTV, quoting unnamed sources, reported that the BCCI vice-presidents were piling pressure on the under-fire board president to quit.

"Either you go or we go," the television station quoted the five BCCI vice-presidents as telling their boss.

The arrest of Srinivasan's son-in-law came after test paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two teammates in the Rajasthan Royals - Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila - were also taken into custody.

All the accused deny any wrongdoing.

The players are in jail in New Delhi after police accused them of deliberately bowling badly in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars after striking deals with bookmakers.

Srinivasan, who was elected as the BCCI president in 2011, can only be removed if two-thirds of the board's members vote against him.

BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur said on Friday that he had sought a special general meeting of the board, where he and other members could "speak their minds".

Former BCCI treasurer Shirke was quoted by The Times of India as saying after his resignation that the BCCI "board's credibility comes before anything else. I can't work with anyone who can't see the writing on the wall".