Top Indian court calls on cricket board president to step down

NEW DELHI,  (Reuters) – India’s highest court called on the country’s cricket board (BCCI) chief N. Srinivasan to step down on Tuesday to ensure a probe into illegal betting during last year’s Indian Premier League, in which his son-in-law has been indicted, is fair.

The involvement of Gurunath Meiyappan, who is married to the daughter of the BCCI president, in the illegal betting case was proved by a court-appointed committee last month.

The committee had been set up by India’s Supreme Court.

Srinivasan should step down to ensure the probe is not hampered, a two-member bench said, asking the BCCI to file a detailed response to their position by Thursday.

Srinivasan, regarded as the world’s most powerful cricket administrator, is set to take over as chairman of the International Cricket Council board in July.

Meiyappan was arrested in late May by Mumbai Police probing illegal betting on the lucrative Twenty20 IPL but was released on bail within two weeks.

Legal sports betting in India is confined to horse racing.

Local media claimed Meiyappan was chief executive of the Chennai Super Kings but the company that owns the IPL franchise, India Cements, said he was merely a member of team management.

The scandal surfaced when former test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and two other local cricketers were arrested on suspicion of taking money to concede a fixed number of runs.

Sreesanth, who had denied any wrongdoing, was subsequently banned for life by the BCCI.

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