(MENAFN - Arab Times) New world cricket boss N. Srinivasan was expected Tuesday to defy calls to step down as India cricket chief despite a damning court inquiry that implicated a relative in illegal betting. After an extensive investigation, a Supreme Court panel said son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was guilty of illegal betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and allegations of match-fixing against him should be further probed. The three-member panel's findings released on Monday were a blow to Srinivasan coming just days after he was elected the first chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in a shakeup of the world body.
A.C. Muthiah, a former head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said Srinivasan's role in the sport's administration was untenable following the findings. "It has definitely weakened Srinivasan's position," Muthiah told the Times of India on Tuesday. "He has to recuse himself according to corporate principles because it is a clear case of conflict of interest." "Corporate governance is a very important factor. You can't have tainted people to run international cricket," he said. But Srinivasan, who successfully weathered last year's betting and fixing IPL scandals, was expected to brush aside the calls to quit the BCCI, with supporters saying he has not been accused of wrongdoing.
"I can't see Srinivasan stepping down just because of the report since he himself has not been found guilty of anything," a senior BCCI member said. "Besides, he is in total control of the board. Who is going to go against him?" the member told AFP on condition of anonymity. Another official added: "This is just a report. Everyone needs to take a step back and wait till the Supreme Court rules on the matter." The Supreme Court appointed the panel on October 8 to investigate the scandal that last year rocked the popular Twenty20 tournament run by the BCCI. The probe was separate from investigations by police, who have filed charges in court against Meiyappan, a string of officials, players and bookmakers for illegal betting during the tournament. Meiyappan was the team principal of Chennai Super Kings, an IPL franchise owned by Srinivasan's India Cements company and captained by national skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Former captain and wicketkeeper Moin Khan is the new coach of Pakistan, while Aamir Sohail has been removed as chief selector by the new management committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board. Sohail was appointed only last week by Zaka Ashraf, who was sacked on Monday as PCB chairman by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who appointed the eight-member management committee. PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed says the committee endorsed Najam Sethi as their chairman during a meeting lasting well over five hours at Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday. Ex-test opener Shoaib Mohammad, son of the great Hanif Mohammad, was appointed as fielding coach while bowling coach Mohammad Akram's contract was extended for two years. Azhar Khan will be acting chief selector.
Former Pakistan captain turned politician Imran Khan Tuesday lashed out at the country's newly reappointed cricket chief, alleging he was being rewarded for helping the ruling party commit fraud in last year's general elections. Najam Sethi, a prominent journalist who was also appointed as interim chief minister of the Punjab province during last year's election campaign, was reinstated as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman on Monday by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. His predecessor Zaka Ashraf was removed on charges of not running the board properly. But Khan said that Sethi was being rewarded for helping to rig the result of the May elections, in which his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party won 35 of the 272 seats in the national parliament. The PTI has launched legal challenges concerning the result in hundreds of constituencies at the national and provincial levels. "When the election tribunal rules on them we will know... who fixed the puncture and who was rewarded with the gift of the PCB chairmanship," Khan told reporters. "Fixing the punctures" refers to election rigging allegations. Sethi denied the allegations.