Two years ago, the Indian Premier League cricket tournament was clouded by a corruption scandal. In January this year, the Supreme Court set up a panel to fully investigate the corruption allegations. After doing so, the panel has proposed that the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals be suspended for two years.
In addition to suggesting that the two teams be suspended, the panel has also recommended that two officials receive life bans from any cricket-related activities. The two individuals are Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra.
Meiyappan, a Chennai Super Kings official, has become well-known as the son-in-law of Narayanswamy Srinivasan, the Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Kundra formerly co-owned the Rajasthan Royals.
The head of the investigative panel, R.M. Lodha, a retired chief justice, read out parts of the panel’s verdict: “As the face of the team, he [Meiyappan] ought not to have indulged in betting practices. By regularly placing bets in IPL matches… he acted in gross violation of the anti-corruption code. He is suspended for life from being involved in any type of cricket matches.”
With regards to Kundra, the panel noted: “This is not unusual when a part-owner and team official indulged in corrupt practices. The unsavory individuals and bad elements become bold enough to involve vulnerable elements, including players, to all sorts of corruptions.”
The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) have already banned S. Sreesanth and another two Rajasthan Royals cricketers who had been arrested on suspicion of having accepted money to concede a set number of runs. Sreesnath denied having done so.
When the panel was convened, the Supreme Court ruled that any verdicts reached by the panel would be binding on the BCCI.
The Indian Premier League has been rocked by the spot fixing and betting scandals, and it is hoped that the conclusions of the panel will put an end to this unwelcome chapter in the IPL’s history.