New Delhi: Former India captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar said Thursday he was ready to become interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as proposed by the Supreme Court.
A panel of judges also said the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals -- the two teams at the centre of an ongoing probe into illegal betting and match-fixing -- should be barred from the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning next month.
MS Dhoni, captain of Chennai Super Kings
"In the place of Srinivasan, we propose to appoint an experienced cricket player like Sunil Gavaskar to replace him and function as BCCI president," Justice A.K. Patnaik said at a hearing in New Delhi.
"We are not removing anyone now, but Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals will not be allowed to participate in the IPL which commences on April 16," added Patnaik, who is head of the two-judge panel.
The bench asked the Board to give its response by tomorrow on its proposals after which it will pass an interim order. The bench also proposed to pass an order barring India Cements officials from getting involved with the functioning of BCCI after senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Cricket Association of Bihar, pointed out that many such officials are at present part of BCCI team.
Salve also raised questions on the conduct of captain of Indian Cricket Team, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also vice president of India Cements, saying that he is guilty of corrupt practices.
The proposals came two days after the same court urged Srinivasan to stand down as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to enable a "fair" investigation into allegations surrounding last year's IPL.
The bench is looking at a damning report it commissioned into wrongdoing in last year's edition of the annual Twenty20 tournament.
Released in February, the report concluded that Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games.
Srinivasan is regarded as the most powerful man in world cricket and is due to take over in July as head of the International Cricket Council.
"There is nothing that you can do if the Supreme Court -- the highest court -- asks you to do something, that's it," the retired opening batsman, who is now a television commentator, told the NDTV network .
"The fact that I am contracted to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to do TV commentary has to be put on record. After that if the honourable Supreme Court tells you to do something, then of course ... if they ask me to do something, I will do it.
"As an opening batsman, you must be ready for all kinds of challenges. I will do everything to the best of my abilities. If the highest court is reposing this faith in me, I'll be very happy to do what they ask me to do."
Gavaskar's comments came after judges proposed he take over on an interim basis as president of the BCCI from Srinivasan who has so far defied their calls to stand down during a probe into illegal betting.
While part of the investigation revolves around Srinivasan's son-in-law, the 64-year-old Gavaskar said the BCCI president must be regarded as "innocent till proven guilty".
"I cannot pass an opinion on what Supreme Court feels as I am not a legal man," he added.
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