CSK team principal: Avid golfer, fast car lover, married to cricket
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A Day after Vindoo Dara Singh became the maiden Bollywood link in the IPL spot-fixing saga, the affair turned murkier after a team-owner's name cropped up for the first time. Reports emerged on Wednesday that the arrested actor had revealed during his investigation to have placed several bets on behalf of Gurunath Meiyappan, Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) CEO and team-principal. Related: Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law
While Gurunath's major claim to fame is being BCCI supremo N Srinivasan's son-in-law, for people in Chennai he's much more. The 37-year-old is the son of AVM Balasubramanian and grandson of AV Meiyappan, the founder of AVM Productions, the oldest TV and film production house in South India. Heir to a considerable fortune, Gurunath's wedding to Rupa Srinivasan a decade ago was looked at in local circles as the coming together of two of the most affluent families in Chennai. While the AVM family was split in two a few decades ago with brothers Balasubramnian and Saravanan going their own ways, their banner still remains very active in terms of producing films and TV serials. Gurunath and Rupa have three kids.
Gurunath, son of the flashier of the two AVM brothers, lived life king-size and was popular in the city's social circuit. He is also not believed to have played an active role in the family business, having mainly been a figure-head.
His marriage into the Srinivasan family though brought him into the limelight, with Srinivasan making Gurunath the principal team owner and CEO of CSK. Many felt that the BCCI president's promotion of Gurunath was an attempt to thwart the conflict-of-interest allegations against him.
Since his promotion, Gurunath has been the face of CSK, seen donning the team owner's badge. He's a regular fixture in the team's dugout and Gurunath is also a constant presence around the dressing room during the team's practice sessions, trying to keep the media away from his players.