Halfway done

BCCI has moved to restore the IPL's credibility. It could have exerted itself more

With a couple of life bans slapped on errant cricketers and a near zero-tolerance tone adopted in meting out punishments in the spot-fixing scandal, the BCCI would seem to have acted promptly to stem the free fall in the IPL's credibility. However, there is a question: Why were the suits from the IPL's franchise boardrooms, owners and team principals, who were summoned by the police for equally dodgy dealings with another set of bookies, spared the rod?

Early in his report, the anti-corruption unit chief, Ravi Sawani, has spelt out the focus of his investigation and the boundaries set for him by the BCCI. His brief, he writes, was simple: Inquire into the illegal activities of three present Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila and a former player, Amit Singh, who could be a fixer and a bookie now. Sawani makes it clear he wasn't picking all the worms in the cricket can. He mentions the alleged betting habits of Vindoo Dara Singh and Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of the BCCI president, N. Srinivasan, but adds a rider. "The scope of this inquiry does not extend to the conduct of Mr Guru Meiyappan as that matter is being dealt with by an independent committee being set up by the BCCI."

This panel of inquisitors who were supposed to finish the remainder of the clean-up was appointed reluctantly by the BCCI, and promptly declared spurious by the high court. If Sawani had enough authority to look into players' wrongdoings, it begs the question why he couldn't have looked into the allegedly dubious activities of team-owners who arguably pose a more expansive threat to the league's credibility, given their positions. In keeping Sawani away from the team owners, the BCCI can be said to have only dealt with half the menace. You'd be excused for believing that the more lethal string-pullers still roam scot-free.

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