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Investigators get another 2 months Srinivasan in limbo as IPL ‘probe’ extended

NEW DELHI, Sept 1, (AFP): India’s Supreme Court Monday gave investigators another two months to probe allegations of corruption in cricket as they blocked a bid by ICC president N. Srinivasan to resume his role as head of the national board. Srinivasan, who was forced by the court in March to stand aside as chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) pending investigations, now heads the International Cricket Council — the game’s world governing body. The panel of investigators, led by former judge Mukul Mudgal, had submitted an initial report into the allegations surrounding the Indian Premier League (IPL) to the Supreme Court on Friday but had asked for more time to wrap up their inquiries.

In Monday’s hearing in New Delhi, a two-judge bench gave the panel until November 10 when the court will meet again. The court commissioned the investigation after rejecting a proposal by the BCCI to conduct its own probe into allegations about matches in last year’s Twenty20 tournament. In February the Mudgal panel produced a damning preliminary report along with a sealed envelope containing the names of 13 individuals whom it felt should be investigated further. The court said Srinivasan was one of those named in the list. It asked the Mudgal panel to investigate him and the other 12 unidentified persons.

The preliminary report concluded that Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan — who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings — could be guilty of illegal betting on IPL games.  The Super Kings are owned by India Cements, whose managing director is Srinivasan. The team is captained by India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Rejecting a plea by the BCCI lawyers to reinstate Srinivasan, the bench said Monday this could not be done until investigations against him had been completed. The Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), which is not affiliated to the BCCI, said it was happy the Supreme Court had acted on its petition against the BCCI and Srinivasan.
 
“We are very happy with the observation of the Supreme Court,” CAB president Subodh Kant Sahay told AFP. “The court is the only institution that can pull cricket out of the current mess. “The BCCI is trying to reinstate Srinivasan by hook or crook. Their efforts will not succeed.” International news organisations, including Agence France-Presse (AFP), have suspended their on-field coverage of matches hosted by the BCCI since 2012 after the board imposed restrictions on picture agencies.

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