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Not cricket

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  25 Dec 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Cricket may be a gentleman’s game, but the passions it rouses among cricket organisers in India seem decidedly un-gentlemanly. With the Supreme Court already cracking the whip on ‘conflict of interest’ as the root of the corruption bedevilling BCCI, the new dispensation under Shashank Manohar has already replaced N Srinivasan at the Intertiol Cricket Council (ICC), axed Roger Binny as a selector and removed Ravi Shastri from the IPL governing council. But even as the cleanup in BCCI is going ahead — the goings-on in the Delhi cricket body DDCA has seen the Delhi government on a collision course with the Centre, while the BJP is facing serious interl dissension with party MP Kirti Azad suspended for publicly attacking Arun Jaitley. The controversy snowballed after the CBI raided the offices of the Delhi government’s principal secretary for corrupt practices earlier. A livid chief minister Arvind Kejriwal went on the offensive, alleging that the real purpose of the CBI raid was to get hold of files on the Delhi government’s probe into alleged fincial and other irregularities in the DDCA, committed during Jaitley’s tenure as its president during 1999-2013. Several DDCA members including former cricketers like Kirti Azad and Bishen Singh Bedi have long been alleging corruption and irregularities in the running of its affairs. The allegations became more strident after the Serious Fraud Investigation Office reportedly found as many as 23 instances of fund misappropriation, non-payment of taxes, flouting tendering rules, hiring of tainted auditors and other irregularities in elections, cricketers’ age violations and ticketing. While Jaitley has slapped a defamation suit against Kejriwal, dissident BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha has now taken Azad’s side. As for the Assam Cricket association (ACA), skeletons in its cupboard keep tumbling out with the latest being over 50 cheques totalling at least Rs 12 lakh discovered inside the drawer of its secretary Bikash Baruah, when the ACA office was being shifted. It transpires that the cheques were to be disbursed among cricketers, but somehow that responsibility slipped from the minds of the ACA’s controversial secretary and its treasurer. This is how cricketers are being short-changed at every turn as a section of organisers run after filthy lucre.

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