The son-in-law of Indian cricket board boss and ICC chairman-designate Narainswamy Srinivasan has been found guilty of betting and passing on information to illegal bookmakers by a committee investigating match-fixing in the Indian Premier League.
In its report on Monday to India’s Supreme Court, the three-member committee found Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan guilty of being in touch with illegal bookmakers, creating big question marks over the franchise’s involvement in this year’s IPL tournament.
The finding comes after the Bombay High Court last year referred to the two-member Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) panel that initially cleared Meiyappan of the charges as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
Meiyappan spent two weeks in jail last year before being bailed.
Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra previously acknowledged betting on matches during initial investigations but was not arrested. The committee suggests Kundra’s role be investigated in detail.
The Supreme Court will study the 170-page report while it waits for the BCCI and Chennai Super Kings to respond to the findings.
The committee refused to agree with Srinivasan’s contention that Meiyappan was “just a cricket enthusiast” and not involved in running the team, which is primarily owned by India Cements Company of which Srinivasan is managing director.
It said “Meiyappan was the face of Chennai Super Kings” as he was often seen at the team dugout during IPL matches. The Chennai franchise had referred to Meiyappan as the team principal but denied he had any official role in the team once he was arrested by police.
The committee report was submitted just two days ahead of the next IPL auctions and could jeopardise Chennai’s participation in the April-May tournament as a team can be barred if its officials bring the game into disrepute.
The court, however, allowed the auctions, slated for Wednesday and Thursday, to go ahead as scheduled.
The IPL fixing controversy erupted last year after the arrests of a clutch of cricketers including Test pace bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth for allegedly giving away a minimum number of runs in exchange for money from bookies.