Month: May 2013

Srinivasan survives

N. Srinivasan survives to fight another day.
For most of 25/5/2013 there were reports that N. Srinivasan’s position as BCCI president has become untenable and he has to step down. His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan had been arrested. He had asked three more days to submit for questioning and Bombay police did not grant that. He could have applied for anticipatory bail but did not. N. Srinivasan was under attack. Some politicians had demanded his resignation. Some said it will be a repeat of 2011 when soon after IPL final Lalit Modi was suspended and after final on 26/5/2013 N. Srinivasan will quit. Names of Arun Jaitley, Shivlal Yadav, Shashank Manohar and D. V. Subba Rao did rounds as his replacement. It was said that Rajeev Shukla and Arun Jaitley will ask N. Srinivasan to step down. Y. P. Singh debunked that and said If N. Srininvasan goes Rajeev Shukla also will have to go. Anurag Thakur, Rajeev Shukla and Arun Jaitley had met Kapil Sibal regarding law on fixing in cricket. At 1.40 p.m. on 25/52103 after coming out of Bombay airport N. Srinivasan told reporters “I have done no wrong. I have no intention to resign. I can’t be bulldozed or railroaded into resigning. Some sources are trying to put pressure.”
On the night of 25/5/2013 N. Srinivasan attended the dinner hosted by Jagmohan Dalmiya. Rajeev Shukla was one of the 17 BCCI members present. Anurag Thakur and Arun Jaitley did not attend. Some speculated it was N. Srinivasan’s last supper. By the morning of 26/5/2013 the reports were N. Srinivasan had the support of 17 BCCI members out of 31 and could not be dislodged. At 4 p.m. he addressed a press conference and made his intent to continue as BCCI president. He had done nothing wrong. He referred to opponents and defaulters, fugitives and vested interests. He meant Subrata Roy, Lalit Modi and Sharad Pawar. He said no member of BCCI has asked his resignation, NCP is not a member of BCCI and people who demand his resignation are not members of BCCI. He spoke against media trial. Next day he told a journalist who questioned him about resignation “You are hounding me.”
Previously N. Srinivasan had said he did not own CSK. India Cements owns CSK. He is a shareholder of CSK.
Who are the sources TV channels quote? Do they exist or are they figments of imaginations? Whatever attributed to sources regarding N. Srinivasan’s resignation proved wrong.
Vindoo (Virendra Randhawa) is said to have mentioned names of film stars. They are not questioned. Delhi police did not arrest IPL players after 16/5/2013. Sometimes there are reports of other players being involved but no arrests.
It was strange to hear Majeed Memon who says a person is innocent till proved guilty and it is for courts to say someone is guilty say N. Srinivasan should resign on the basis of propriety and morality.
To demand a meeting for removal of BCCI president nine members have to sign a requisition and 24 members have to vote against the president.
Shashank Manohar had a role in Dalmiya’s removal. He is not neutral as some people claim him to be. His suggestions regarding clean-up of BCCI are unlikely to be accepted.
N. Srinivasan’s opponents may have to wait till September when BCCI AGM takes place to elect a new president.
I wonder why NDTV 24×7 has four cricketers for discussion on its sports programmes. It was doing well with Ajay Jadeja. Then Sunil Gavaskar joined. Then Ajay Jadeja was out and Dean Jones was in. Around two months back Farokh Engineer joined. On 27/5/2013 there was Arun Lal.
No BCCI member has publicly said he wanted N. Srinivasan to resign. There is no basis for journalists saying some members wanted him to resign.

IPL in a spot

Spot-fixing scandal has hit IPL. This time it is not a sting operation. Delhi police have arrested three Rajasthan Royals players. S. Sreesanth had played for India in Tests, ODIs and T20s. In a Test in South Africa he had hit Andre Nel for a sixer and had danced. He was in the final of T20 World Cup 2007 and had caught Misbah-ul-Haque off Joginder Sharmar when Pakistan needed six runs off four balls and that was the moment of India’s victory. He was in the final of ODI World Cup 2011. Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were not much known at national level. Delhi police came to Bombay and arrested them on 16/5/2013. They also arrested 11 bookies. Amit Singh, one of the bookies, was a RR player till 2012.
The police claim to have been on the trail of bookies since the beginning of March 2013. They have more than 100 hours of telephone recording. Why did they act now and not early? May be it was to divert attention from the problems UPA is facing. It can be also due to IPL betting leading to kidnapping and murder of a boy Aditya Ranka. Somebody in police force must have felt bad and decided to stop.
These are the first arrests for spot-fixing or match-fixing in India. Previously the players were banned. The players are arrested under Section 120-B of IPC for conspiracy and Section 420 for cheating.
BCCI has been in denial about anything wrong in Indian cricket. It rubbished reports of spot-fixing or match-fixing that appeared in newspapers and TV channels. Spot-fixing can be match-fixing when a team loses by narrow margin.
BCCI claims it is a case of few bad eggs. Ratnakara Shetty said BCCI has zero tolerance for anti-doping and anti-corruption. That was a Freudian slip. It means BCCI is for doping and corruption.
Doping ruined cycling. Lance Armstrong denied charges of doping for a long time. When he admitted it was on an interview to Oprah Winfrey.
Some have suggested making betting legal. Some have funny suggestions of good parenting and counselling. Match-fixing takes place in countries where betting is legal. It is there in football, tennis and other sports. Jail term is the way to deter crime in sports.
IPL 6 had its share of strange things. DD were all out for 80. CSK were all out for 79. Keiron Pollard dropped catches off three successive balls. In RCB vs CSK match the sixth ball of the last over happened to be a no ball and that resulted in defeat for RCB and victory for CSK.
Lalit Modi appeared on CNN-IBN and Headlines Today and lashed out at N. Srinivasan. He said ICC, BCCI and IPL are run by one person. He claimed he did nothing wrong when he was IPL Commissioner. He had warned about bookmakers. He said he had forwarded information about spot-fixing to BCCI’s Sundararaman.
Delhi police said Bombay underworld was running the betting ring. The mastermind is in Dubai. Y. P. Singh said betting happens with the connivance of the police.
Gulu Ezekiel said this is the tip of the iceberg that will sink the Titanic that is Indian cricket. He wants polygraph tests for players, franchisees, and BCCI officials. Sanjay Jha said those who are shocked are either naïve or ignorant. Some years back he had hinted that the IPL final where MI lost to CSK was fixed.
Some say IPL is Indian Paisa League or Indian Punter League.
Some wanted ban on IPL. Navjot Singh Sidhu countered by saying in spite of all the scandals, betrayals and controversies Parliament can still be sacrosanct. Why call IPL Paap League.
Badrish Dutt who was investigating spot-fixing was found dead on 11/5/2013. His live-in partner Geeta Sharma was also found dead. The criminals knew he was to lead raids on them.
BCCI’s disciplinary committee headed by Arun Jaitley is set to meet on 19/5/2013 to decide about action to be taken against the three players who are under suspension. Life ban is a possibility.
Delhi police have gone public about three bowlers and three matches. There is more that needs to be made public. They have been economical about the truth. Betting by Bombay underworld cannot be just about one over each in three matches.

Death of Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh was murdered. It was premeditated, cold blooded murder. The attack on him in Kot Lakhpat Jail on 26/4/2013 was preplanned. He died in Jinnah Hospital around 12.45 a.m. on 2/5/2013. It happened on the second anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, close to the time of his death. Some say Sarabjit Singh’s ventilator was taken off.
It was disgusting on the part of Sagarika Ghose (Face the Nation – CNN-IBN) to bring the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru and link the two and equate India and Pakistan. Afzal Guru was executed. If Pakistan had executed Sarabjit Singh it would have been different. Pakistan’s Supreme Court had sentenced him to death as Manjit Singh and Pakistan’s Presidents had rejected his mercy petitions. His family claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. However he was found guilty and did not get pardon or commutation.
Markandey Katju has not spoken on Sarabjit Singh’s death. He was instrumental in getting Khalil Chisti released. The understanding was that Sarabjit Singh will be released in return for Khalil Chisti. On 26/6/2012 there were reports that Sarabjit Singh would be released and Katju had written a letter to Asif Ali Zardari thanking him for the pardon. Later it turned out that the release was of Surjeet Singh.
Dalbir Kaur, sister of Sarabjit Singh, said Ansar Burney wanted 25 crore rupees for the release of Sarabjit Singh. That raises questions about people who are known as human rights activists and oppose death penalty. Those who have paid money to such activists should go public about it.
Dalbir Kaur and other family members had gone to Lahore to see Sarabjit Singh. They had 15-day visas and had returned after three days. There was demand to shift Sarabjit Singh to India or a third country to get best medical treatment. She wanted to meet Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and other leaders. She had said she would fast for shifting of Sarabjit Singh out of Pakistan. She had blamed Indian government for Sarabjit Singh’s condition and had demanded Manmohan Singh’s resignation. During the night Sarabjit Singh died.
The criminals who attacked Sarabjit Singh were murderers who were sentenced to death. If they had been hanged they would not have murdered Sarabjit Singh. Death penalty is deterrent and preventive.
Pakistan has elections. It has caretaker governments at centre and in provinces. In Pakistan’s Punjab, Najam Sethi, who was editor of Friday Times, is caretaker chief minister. After elections there will be elected governments. India must review its relationship with Pakistan. India must withdraw Most Favoured Nation given to Pakistan as Pakistan has not reciprocated.
RAW and IB should be held accountable for their actions. If RAW blackmails people in Punjab and Rajasthan to go to Pakistan as spies it is a crime. Those who do that should be prosecuted. If some men willingly became spies and were caught in Pakistan, India should acknowledge them as spies and try for their release. India should stop sending spies to Pakistan.
In Pakistani jails Indian prisoners are kept separate from Pakistani prisoners. When Pakistan prisoners kill or murder Indian prisoners there is conspiracy and complicity.

Indian government has not been consistent in dealing with Pakistan. When terrorist or dastardly acts take place India says it will not be business as usual. After sometime it is business as usual. Pakistan’s leaders come here on “private” visits and Indian government entertains them.
There are people who say India should keep talking to Pakistan. Alternative to not talking is war. Their loyalty is suspect. They are wrong. Between not talking and war there are many options.
Those who attacked Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq in Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal jail committed a crime and embarrassed India. It gave an opportunity to Pakistan’s High Commissioner Salman Bashir to pontificate. The guilty must be punished.