Six Indian international cricketers, including one in the current squad, face investigation for their alleged roles in a match-fixing scandal, according to a report on Tuesday.
Indian broadcaster NDTV claimed a Supreme Court-appointed panel investigating betting and spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) had also found two former Indian players allegedly involved in match-fixing.
The names of the players have been given to the court in a sealed cover, the report said. The panel submitted its 170-page findings on Monday.
The investigation also found a cricket team official – Gurunath Meiyappan of IPL franchise the Chennai Super Kings – guilty of illegal betting. He allegedly passed information to illegal bookmakers.
Meiyappan is the son-in-law of Narainswamy Srinivasan, head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and recently elected head of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Roots of corruption and malpractices have crept in deep into the game of cricket, more particularly, the IPL, and are seeping into the game at an alarming rate,” NDTV quoted the report as saying.
“The BCCI must adopt a zero tolerance policy in matters of corruption in the game. It must adopt a far more proactive role,” it continued.
Since the IPL’s debut in 2008, the league has been dogged by various allegations including kickbacks in television rights as well as irregularities in sponsorship deals and the bidding process for franchises.
Srinivasan is expected to defy calls to step down as Indian cricket chief despite the damning court inquiry implicating his relative.
After an extensive investigation, the panel said Meiyappan was guilty of illegal betting and match-fixing allegations should be further probed.
The findings are a blow to Srinivasan just days after his election as the ICC’s first chairman in a shake-up of the world body.
AC Muthiah, a former BCCI head, said Srinivasan’s role in the sport’s administration was untenable following the findings.
“It has definitely weakened Srinivasan’s position,” Muthiah told the Times of India on Tuesday. “He has to recuse himself according to corporate principles because it is a clear case of conflict of interest.
“You can’t have tainted people to run international cricket.
But Srinivasan, who successfully weathered last year’s betting and fixing IPL scandals, was expected to brush aside the calls to quit the BCCI, with supporters saying he had not been accused of wrongdoing.
“I can’t see Srinivasan stepping down just because of the report since he himself has not been found guilty of anything,” a senior BCCI member said.
“Besides, he is in total control of the board. Who is going to go against him?” the member told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Another official added: “This is just a report. Everyone needs to take a step back and wait till the Supreme Court rules on the matter.”