Arm-Twisting? Bindra accuses BCCI of squashing adverse report from SLC during Indian tour of 2010

Courtesy of The Island, 3 June 2013

BCCI corruption bookie Ashwin Agarwal under guard — Pic by AP

Even as the spot-fixing scandal rages on,  Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) President Inder Singh Bindra has created a  fresh controversy by claiming that an official of the Board of Control for  Cricket in India (BCCI) had arm-twisted the Sri Lankan cricket board to withdraw  a report which violated the anti corruption regulations during India’s tour of  Sri Lanka in 2010. Bindra is a former BCCI president and has a formidable  reputation as a good administrator. In an article on his website, he made three points in the wake  of the spot-fixing scandal and recounted an incident involving corruption during  India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2010.

“On India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2010, due to the LTTE  operation, a retired general of Sri Lankan army was given charge of the Indian  team’s security and he ensured the tightest security arrangements, including  installing CCTV cameras on every floor and the lobby of the hotels where the  Indian team was staying.” At night, an official travelling with the team had  taken a girl into the room of an Indian player, who is also a prominent member  of CSK team for the last six seasons. It was observed on the footage that the  girl spent the night prior to a game. It was so alleged that girl was sent by an  individual on ICC’s list of suspected bookies.

This incident was in gross violation of security as well as anti  corruption regulations,” Bindra claimed. “On the basis of General’s report, the Sri Lankan Board reported  these sordid details in writing to the team Manager along with documentary  evidence and also informed anti- corruption official of the International  Cricket Council (ICC). It is understood that under pressure from an official of  the Indian Board, the Sri Lanka Board was made to withdraw the report.”

“Mihir Bose filed this story in The Sunday Times (London), which  was rubbished by the BCCI spokesperson, and Sri Lanka Cricket Board was  arm-twisted into denying the whole episode,” he said.

Bindra said, “The above narrative leads me to the second major  point that could this incidence have nipped an emerging malfeasance in the bud  and are we paying the price now?”

Interestingly, Bindra chose to make this claim on the eve of the  Emergency Working Committee meeting of the BCCI in Chennai, where members are  likely to push for Narayanaswami Srinivasan’s resignation as its President. Bindra, who is a member of the anti-Srinivasan group, had  demanded the BCCI president’s resignation immediately after the arrest of his  son-in-law and CSK Team Principal Gurunath Maiyappan over charges of betting.

The former BCCI president said, “Looking at the immediate issue  at hand, the breaking news on television that the ICC had warned Gurunath  Meiyappan of the company he was keeping. I have three important points to make.”

“First, if the ICC did warn Meiyappan it is obvious and apparent  that they must have informed the BCCI about it. Therefore, who were the officials in the BCCI who were informed  by the ICC and how did they handle this key input? If they did nothing with the  information from the ICC, the BCCI is guilty of gross misconduct and the ICC  needs to confirm this claim.”

Bindra said, “In the last eight years since the present  President took over, an employee from India Cements has invariably been posted  with the Indian team at home and abroad. Now think of this, it means that these  people are outsiders and are not subject to the ICC Code of Conduct. They are  also out of the BCCI’s purview.

“These people are privy to the Indian team’s strategy meetings  and dressing room deliberations and they have access to all classified  information. India Cement nominees are not BCCI officials/employees. The  precedent of a private company involved in intimate cricket insider information  is highly controversial and has some serious and thought provoking  implications,” he added.

Bindra “fervently hoped that the game of cricket is cleansed and  restored to its pristine heritage in the wake of the present cricket detritus  and rightful resignations. The pubic deserves and demands it, and most of all, the  gentleman’s game cries for it. We must bring back the credibility and love for  the game,” he said.

“The shenanigans of the recent times run the risk of bringing  ignominy to the game of cricket which was built brick by brick by many. After  decades of being a part of the great game of cricket, and having served Indian  cricket in various positions, I believe that this is the worst crisis faced by  Indian Cricket. My central postulate is that the sanctity and credibility of  the game should be our focus and be preserved at all costs. The game is bigger  than any individual,” the PCA chief added.


SLC denies Indian report

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it was surprised to read about an incident that supposedly led to the filing of an anti-corruption report during the Indian tour of Sri Lanka in 2010 and the subsequent withdrawal of the said report due to “arm twisting” by BCCI.

“We wish to state that such an incident did not take place as alleged and no report was submitted to the Indian team, the Manager nor was an incident report filed with the Anti-Corruption Unit of ICC present during the series. The allegations that follow are therefore not pertinent,” SLC said

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