Meet Cricket Association of Bihar’s secretary Aditya Verma, the petitioner in the IPL betting and spot fixing case, who can claim credit for playing a part in Indian cricket’s cleansing
‘Ekla chalo re’ (walk alone) has been Aditya Verma’s caller tune for the last few months. The secretary of the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar, who is the petitioner in the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) corruption and betting scandal, waged a lone battle against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) all this while.
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However, yesterday’s Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee’s landmark verdict was his first major step to victory in his quest to weed out corruption in Indian cricket.
Verma’s battle has been nothing short of a Bollywood script. He claims to have braved several threats and was also allegedly offered “huge money” to settle the case with the BCCI. But it all proved to be futile.
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Verma was a man on a mission a mission to break BCCI’s cozy-club attitude and regain the integrity of Indian cricket which was severely dented due to the IPL spot fixing and betting scandal.
Being an ex-cricketer himself, Verma did not let the several legal processes affect his perseverance. His 2013 Public Interest Litigation in the Bombay High Court challenging the BCCI’s two-member internal probe panel was the game-changer.
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The verdict exposed BCCI’s shoddy probe that eventually gave a clean chit to former Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team official Gurunath Meiyappan. The issue soon reached Supreme Court, where the Justice Mudgal Committee was appointed to look into the mess.
Verma received a major boost when the apex court heard his plea and asked N Srinivasan, father-in-law of Meiyappan and owner of India Cements, which owns the CSK franchise, to step down as BCCI president and stopped him from contesting for the top post citing conflict of interest.
The SC then appointed Lodha Committee to further investigate on the Mudgal Committee’s recommendations and empowered them to give their verdict upon conclusion of the probe. They found Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals (RR) owner Raj Kundra guilty of their roles in betting, and the Lodha Committee yesterday banned the duo for life from taking part in any cricketing activities.
The Lodha Committee also ordered a two-year suspension for both CSK and RR from the IPL. However, Verma is not content with this verdict. He wants the SC to totally ban Srinivasan’s involvement in cricket. He also wants the BCCI to not support Srinivasan’s candidature as chairman of the International Cricket Council.
Meanwhile, Verma was grateful that the Almighty heard his daughter’s prayers yesterday. On a social media post, he wrote: “My lovely, darling betu. She visited Lord Ganesh and Sai temple before the hearing or judgment day in my cricket cases. She prayed for the revival of cricket in Bihar. Today is a big day for the Indian Cricket.”