Former IPL CEO Sundar Raman on a sticky wicket
Lodha Commission’s November 4 recommendations could mean former IPL CEO Sundar Raman can’t hold a post in a sporting body
New Delhi: Sundar Raman, the former Indian Premier League CEO, who on Friday tweeted, “To Peace & Tolerance, Wishing You A Happy 2016”, could receive some news to the contrary when the Lodha Committee submits its recommendations to the Supreme Court for BCCI’s total overhaul of BCCI on January 4.
Sundar Raman. Pic/Getty Images
Raman has drawn the worst flak in the report for his activities in the 2012 Indian Premier League (IPL) and could be banned for life from holding any post in a sporting body.
The Lodha Committee, which probed Raman who had been associated with the IPL since its inception with both Lalit Modi and N Srinivasan, found him guilty on several counts. Similar charges have been pressed by the Committee against a number of BCCI officials who, the Committee found, worked closely with Raman.
“Details of Raman’s involvement with the BCCI officials could set the cat among pigeons in the board,” sources said. Raman’s future in the IPL was in question ever since Shashank Manohar was elected as the BCCI president last year.
Raman was named as Individual 12 in the Mudgal report, which said the IPL CEO “knew a contact of a bookie and had contacted him eight times in one season”. In his defence, Raman “admitted” to the Mudgal panel that he “knew” a contact of the bookie, but was “unaware of his connection with betting activities”. The report stated Raman “also accepted” that he had received information about “individual 1 and individual 11 (that is, Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra) taking part in betting”. He said he was further “informed” by the ICC-ACSU chief that this was not actionable information. Raman accepted that this information that he received about two team officials being reportedly involved in betting “was not conveyed to any other individual” by him. Highly placed sources, who had a glimpse of the report, said the former CJI, RM Lodha had made it clear that any BCCI official, against whom any case was on in a court of law, should not be allowed to hold any position in the board.
If that turns out to be true, then it would be difficult for the current BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur to retain his position because of the legalities involved in his case relating to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association ground and charges of financial irregularities. Thakur, a top BJP leader, has brushed aside the charges as “Congress vendetta”.
Not only Thakur
Not just Thakur, sources said there were a number of BCCI officials who were involved in litigation in various cases of financial irregularities. Those officials could be asked to drop their files and designation and resign.
Sources further said the Lodha Committee has suggested sweeping changes in the way various officials are offered highly paid jobs in the board “without any clear cut directions and guidance”.
The Committee, claimed the sources, severely castigated the BCCI for handing out associate and permanent membership to various cricket associations in the country in an arbitrary manner, and favouring some of the cricket associations, while ignoring others.
“This, the Committee felt, has led to the unfortunate stagnation of cricketing activities in some states and associations. As a result, the selection process at various levels has been affected, causing meritorious players to be sacrificed in favour of those who are better connected,” the sources said.