“Why should I step aside? I am not disqualified and neither can you push me out,” a combative Srinivasan told mediapersons when asked whether he would step aside following the chargesheet against Meiyappan.
Gurunath was charged under sections 415, 420 and 417 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with cheating and fraud, and section 130 of Bombay Police Act, which concerns cheating at games.
The Tamil Nadu strongman sought to distance himself from his controversial son-in-law, who was earlier arrested during IPL-VI for placing bets on CSK matches.
“I have always maintained that if Gurunath is wrong then the law will take its own course. You people must realise that I am not disqualified at all. The press is trying to take a position and I beg to differ. I don’t agree with you,” Srinivasan said.
Srinivasan was evasive when asked about the two-member probe commission, comprising of retired judges of Madras High Court, formed by BCCI.
“For your information, the matter is before the Honourable Supreme Court and I am not going to comment on the matter as it is still sub-judice.”
Asked about the chargesheet filed against Meiyappan, which has charged the former CSK Team Principal for session betting which is done by someone privy to team’s inside information, Srinivasan offered a straight bat.
“I have not seen the chargesheet yet. I will be asking the secretary of the BCCI to to take legal advice if he finds it necessary,” he said.
Srinivasan, whose company India Cements owns the Chennai Super Kings, was forced to step aside as Board President on moral grounds after Meiyappan was arrested for allegedly indulging in betting during the IPL this year.
“This is a matter for Mr Gurunath Meiyappan to deal with. The law will take its own course. He has been suspended so he has got nothing to do with the game,” Srinivasan said. “It is upto him to defend his position, it has got nothing to do with me,” he added.
Srinivasan, who has remained defiant despite stepping aside, reiterated that he would contest the BCCI Presidential election during the September 29 Annual General Meeting in Chennai.
“I will chair the meeting as President and inspite of what you (the media) feel, I may get elected,” he said.
The IPL spot-fixing controversy broke out in May with the arrest of Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan by the Delhi Police for conceding a specified number of runs per over in return for money from illegal bookmakers.
Sreesanth and Chavan were recently slapped with life bans by the BCCI. The BCCI also handed out a five-year ban to Royals’ Amit Singh, while another Rajasthan cricketer Siddharth Trivedi got a one-year suspension.
There was no decision on Chandila, who recently got out on bail. His role is still being probed, and a decision will be taken soon.