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BCCI should take a balanced approach, says Kishore Rungta

Ahead of the today's crucial emergent Working Committee meeting, former Board treasurer Kishore Rungta explains why Shashank Manohar should not be part of the IPL-6 probe panel

The last time the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed a probe panel post the IPL-6 spot fixing scandal in May last year, they were left with egg on their face.

Former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya (right) with then treasurer Kishore Rungta during an extraordinary meeting of the Board in Kolkata in 2002. Pic/AFP.

So incredibly shabby were the findings of the panel, comprising a couple of judges from Tamil Nadu, that the Bombay High Court, followed by the Supreme Court, broke little sweat trashing the findings once a PIL was filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar, a body that is not recognised by the Board.

Courtroom battle
Following months of courtroom battle, it’s back to square one, and the BCCI is again left with the unenviable task of washing dirty linen in public. It has been ordered, in no uncertain terms, by the apex court to figure out how it will conduct a probe into the unsavory episode that has dominated headlines for almost a year.

The Board has to present its proposal for the way forward in the next hearing on April 22, and that’s the reason why an emergent meeting of the Working Committee has been called at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai on Sunday.

It remains to be seen what members of the committee, minus the disgraced president N Srinivasan, propose. But former office-bearers of the BCCI are unanimous in their belief that it’s high time the Board sets the record straight.

After former chiefs Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya spoke their minds, former treasurer of the Board Kishore Rungta told Sunday mid-day: “It would be prudent for the Board to announce a three-member panel to investigate the scandal. “Ideally, it should consist of two distinguished retired judges from the Supreme Court and an eminent former cricketer.”

‘Credibility at stake’
Rungta admitted that the credibility of the Board has taken a severe beating and members can’t let the situation drift from here. “If I were in Mr Srinivasan’s boots I would have resigned long ago and allowed a credible probe to be initiated. But in this case, it has not happened.”

There are calls for Manohar to head the probe panel from various quarters, but Rungta feels it is something which should be desisted from, as Manohar has already formed an opinion about Srinivasan and aired his views without having access to any evidence.

“He already has a pre-conceived opinion about Srinivasan and that could cloud his judgment. So a balanced approach needs to be adopted.” As far as the choice of the cricketer is concerned, Rungta suggested Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev are best placed to be part of the panel. “Sunny and Kapil are men of impeccable character and enjoy tremendous goodwill amongst the public. Surely, fans will believe what they find out during investigations,” he concluded.

Manohar to attend BCCI meeting

New Delhi: Former BCCI President Shashank Manohar will attend today’s Working Committee meeting as a special invitee of the Vidarbha Cricket Association.

Manohar is not part of Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) but has been co-opted by them him so that he can represent them at the meeting. Manohar is one of the prominent faces who have called for change in guard in BCCI in the wake of IPL spot and betting scandal. — PTI

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