Indian Cricket President Steps Aside Until End of IPL Probe

N. Srinivasan, president of the board that runs the world’s richest cricket tournament, will step aside from his post until a commission completes its probe into alleged “spot-fixing.”

Jagmohan Dalmiya, former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, or BCCI, will conduct its day-to-day affairs, the board said in a statement after a three-hour emergency meeting of the working committee in Chennai yesterday.

The board requested that secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke withdraw their resignations. Both quit three days ago, demanding the resignation of Srinivasan.

The probe is centered on the Indian Premier League, where Rajeev Shukla two days ago resigned as chairman. The IPL, which uses the short-format Twenty20 game, is worth $3.67 billion according to London-based Brand Finance Plc.

Mumbai police on May 24 arrested Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan on charges of placing bets on IPL matches, a practice that’s illegal in India. Meiyappan was a member of the IPL team managing Chennai Super Kings, a franchise owned by India Cements Ltd. Srinivasan, managing director of India Cements, ignored calls for his resignation by board members and the sports ministry.

Srinivasan has dissociated himself and his company from his son-in-law amid the controversy, while Meiyappan hasn’t issued any statement.

The IPL appointed a three-member commission to look into the complaints of the BCCI against Srinivasan’s son-in-law and India Cements, the board said May 28, without specifying the complaints.

Broadcast Revenue

Former BCCI president Sharad Pawar on May 29 asked for an investigation of all IPL matches after the arrest of three cricketers and a Bollywood actor in alleged spot-fixing, where players manipulate specific actions in a game.

Fueled by sponsorships, broadcast revenue and ticket sales, the IPL has grown into the world’s richest cricket competition.

The Twenty20 league, which showcases cricket’s newest and shortest format, has concluded its sixth season, in which Mumbai Indians, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., beat Chennai Super Kings in the final.

The controversies have destroyed $1 billion of stakeholder value, Brand Finance’s global strategy director Unni Krishnan said May 27. PepsiCo Inc. agreed to spend 3.97 billion rupees ($70.3 million) over five years to be the title sponsor of the IPL.

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