Conflict of interest deserved to be hit for six

The Supreme Court may have not pronounced clear punishments to those who brought disrepute to the game of cricket through their various actions in the Indian Premier League. But it has shown a welcome intolerance to any conflict of interest involving Indian cricket board officials and owning teams in the world’s richest league.

In short, sidelined Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan cannot hope to enjoy another term as Board chief and still be involved as a team owner of the Chennai Super Kings. He has six weeks to decide.

Doubtless, cricket will now have to be played out administratively by the law. The 2013 spot fixing case has used up far too much time and energy for the game to be run at the will and fancy of Board officials who, although have run the game well on other counts, have not done so in the most transparent fashion when it has come to dealing with their own demons.

No longer can the BCCI get away from the judicial spotlight just because they are an autonomous body.

The actions of the Board will now be open to scrutiny like never before. This is probably self-inflicted and things may have been different had Srinivasan vacated his president’s seat as soon as his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was accused of betting during the IPL.

Srinivsan’s ego came in the way before he was ordered out of his high seat. That he still continues to be chief of the International Cricket Council and in all probability (unless indisposed) will present the ICC World Cup to the winner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 29, lends more meat to the deep-rooted, well-established truism, ‘funny game cricket this’.

Still, yesterday’s order by India’s highest judicial pillar, debarring Board officials from owning IPL teams is supremely significant.

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