BCCI suspends Kundra, launches ‘Operation Clean-up’ IPL

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) The Indian cricket board Monday decided to do away with IPL after-match parties and cheerleaders as part of “Operation Clean-up”, and also suspended part-owner of Rajasthan Royals Raj Kundra on the Delhi Police commissioner’s assertion that he had admitted to betting.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), at the emergency meeting of its working committee here Monday, also put in place some stringent rules for players, officials and support staff by barring them from accepting gifts and requiring them to furnish their telephone numbers before the start of the Indian Premier League.

These measures follow the suspension of Chennai Super Kings chief Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra over betting and spot-fixing scandal.

BCCI interim president Jagmohan Dalmiya at the meeting also promised to look into India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s alleged conflict of interest after the team returns from the Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

“I don’t want to disturb the team during the Champions Trophy. I gain nothing by doing that. We have a taken a note of the (Dhoni) issue, we are looking into it but we are not going to hound someone,” said Dalmiya.

Dhoni courted controversy recently following reports that he held 15 percent stake in Rhiti Sports Management, which manages accounts of cricketers Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha, besides the Indian skipper.

The company claimed that Dhoni held the shares for a brief while, and those were transferred back to the company in April after the payments to the India captain were cleared.

Kundra, who was suspended Monday pending inquiry, came down heavily on the board and the media for giving currency to what he called unsubstantiated reports over his alleged betting on IPL games.

“All sorts of accusations were made against me without proof, by people in powerful positions. It is sad that without accurate facts, I am being made a scapegoat and put under trial by the media based on unproved claims,” Kundra said in a statement.

“I am shocked and upset at the unilateral decision taken today by the BCCI and will fight the grounds of suspension. I further clarify that this is my view and is not related to any other share-holders or owners of Rajasthan Royals,” he added.

Admitting that there have been some flaws in the running of the IPL, Jagmohan Dalmiya, who presided over the meeting, said that there will be restrictions on movement near the teams’ dug-out and dressing room and the news rules would also apply to the the team owners.

Dalmiya went on to say that anti-corruption officials at the ground and team hotel “will have to be adequate”. Players will not be allowed to use phones at the ground besides the ban on use of earplugs.

Talking about the conflict of interest, Dalmiya said the national selectors “should not be part of an IPL team”.

The players will now have to disclose their financial interest with other organisations to the board before the start of IPL. The teams on their part will need to share their players’ payment with BCCI.

“Apart from these, there are many other points I need to discuss with players and team owners. The programme can be called as operation clean-up. If we are able to clean up cricket, it will be a great service to the game,” said Dalmiya.

He was also asked about banning IPL as it is often linked to harming Indian cricket.

“I don’t agree with the notion that banning IPL is a solution for all the problems. We are committed to clean the image of the game.”

Among other decisions taken at the meeting, the BCCI ratified the appointment of treasurer Ravi Savant and secretary Sanjay Patel replacing Ajay Shirke and Sanjay Jagdale respectively.

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