New Delhi, March 28: The Supreme Court Friday virtually split the Indian cricket board, naming legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and board vice president Shivlal Yadav as interim heads respectively for the Indian Premier League and all other matters in place of the tainted incumbent N. Srinivasan.
A bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said Gavaskar will only be in charge of the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting April 16 in the UAE and asked senior vice president Shivlal Yadav to oversee the rest of the work of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The court also barred all those associated with Srinivasan’s India Cements company, which owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, from functioning in the BCCI in any manner.
The court, however, allowed Chennai Super Kings as well as Rajasthan Royals, whose owners too are facing charges of betting, to take part in this year’s IPL.
“We make it clear that we have not passed any order preventing any player or team from participating in the tournament 2014,” the order said.
“Considering the fact that Mr. Sunil Gavaskar was a cricket player of great repute and eminence, a captain of the Indian cricket team for a long period and has a wide experience in cricket related activities and of men and matters, we appoint him, as an interim measure, to function as and exercise the powers of the president of the BCCI in relation to the IPL 2014 till we hear and deliver the judgment in these matters,” Justice Patnaik said in the order.
Gavaskar “will have power to engage the services of such persons on whom he has confidence for work in connection with the IPL 2014,” Justice Patnaik said.
“We also direct that it is for Mr. Gavaskar to decide as to whether Mr. Sundar Raman, chief IPL operator, would continue in the IPL 2014 or some other arrangement has to be made in his place,” the court said.
“In case of any difficulty, Mr. Gavaskar may apply to this court for appropriate orders,” it added.
Passing the order, the court said it had to pass interim orders “to ensure that all those who love cricket continue to watch cricket in IPL 2014 and the matches are played by the players in accordance with the IPL Rules.”
“We make it clear that with regard to all other matters of BCCI, the senior most vice president of the BCCI, Mr. Shivlal Yadav, will discharge the functions of the president of the BCCI.”
Appointing Gavaskar as an interim president, the court noted the offer made by Srinivasan that till investigation into allegations against him is completed, he will not discharge any of the functions of the BCCI chief.
The court also said Gavaskar would no more be a BCCI-contracted cricket commentator and he would be adequately compensated for it by the board.
The compensation amount will be determined after the court resumes hearing on April 16, it said.
Senior counsel C.A.Sundaram told the court that it should clarify that it has not passed any order on the merits of the petition by Cricket Association of Bihar seeking Srinivasan’s removal as it may come in his way of taking over as ICC chairman in June.
The court said, “As we are yet to hear all the parties in these matters, we cannot at this stage form any opinion and pass orders on the basis of such opinion for removal of Mr. Srinivasan from the post of the president of the BCCI.”
Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was the team principal of Chennai Super Kings, was arrested last year on charges of betting in the IPL.
Rajasthan Royals’ co-owner Raj Kundra, a British citizen, was interrogated as well for his alleged role in betting.
The Justice (retd.) Mukul Mugdal Committee set up by the apex court has also indicted Meiyappan for involvement in betting.