As the IPL scam saga unfolds, many hot shots of the game find themselves in the middle of the crisis. It doesn’t help that the CEO of CSK, the franchisee which is in the center of the crisis is also the son-in-law of BCCI president N.Srinivasan. Is Gurunath Meiyappan guilty as suspected? If yes, what does the future hold for him, CSK and Srinivasan?

Over the past few years a witty one liner used to do the rounds in various social media stream which ran this way- ‘What is IPL?

It is a tournament where play cricket in order to beat the Chennai Super Kings’. The reason why that joke had so much resonance was the fact that the franchise had an unfair competitive advantage over the rest of the teams participating in the competition by way of its direct association with the president of the BCCI Mr. N. Srinivasan. The murky ownership pattern was questioned many a time by the fourth estate but BCCI simply played the ostrich and carried on as if nothing had happened. For your information, the CSK are wholly owned by India Cements and the company in its turn is owned by Mr. Srinivasan. Since he could not act as the head of the franchisee he delegated the function to his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan– who is his own right is one of the biggest names in showbiz in Chennai.

Interim BCCI Chief Jagmohan Dalmiya 300x199 Meiyappan / BCCI Corruption

The Issue

So that brings us nicely to the recent spate of allegations that have flown thick and fast in these past 24 hours regarding the involvement of Mr. Meiyappan with Vindoo Dara Singh- a man alleged to be the buffer between players, officials and bookies. Mr. Meiyappan is the CEO of the CSK and the Mumbai Police has found his number flashing up in the phone records of Vindoo Dara Singh 40 times precisely on those days when CSK were playing. Now I do not think anyone calls up someone 40 times other than for providing some sort of real time update and considering that these phone calls took place when the matches were on, it only points in one direction- that Mr. Meiyappan, the CSK CEO was passing on privileged information to Vindoo so that the latter could use it to his advantage. Now, nothing has been proven beyond doubt as yet but if a team from the Mumbai Police had to fly down to Chennai to interrogate him then you would expect that there is something serious going on. However, the Mr. Meiyappan was not at his home yesterday but he has been summoned for interrogation on the 27th of May.

The Duplicity

Right after the 3 players from the Rajasthan Royals were arrested the BCCI president N. Srinivasan called them ‘rotten eggs’ and suspended them. Mind you, they have not been proven guilty although the evidence is overwhelming against them. However, now that his son-in-law’s name has cropped up in this inglorious chapter of the IPL, the BCCI chief has gone into his shell and there has not been a single statement from him or his office. If he was to follow the same rationale that he followed against the RR players then Gurunath should be suspended pending investigation, isn’t it? But something of that sort is unfathomable when he has to suspend someone from his family and that too managing the team owned by his company.

The Sleaze

Now much like the reactions of most people when the RR trio were caught was one of mild shock, the recent plight of the CSK CEO has also not been received with much shock because of the history of the franchise to tweak the rules. As has been mentioned earlier, the very association of N. Srinivasan with the franchise is a sore point for many. Back in 2009, the CSK went over the fixed salary cap of $10 million and bought star all rounder Andrew Flintoff- flouting one of the basic rules of the IPL, that of financial equality. Srinivasan has also devised the player retention rule so that he could keep hold of some of his best players without sending them into auctions- a move which has been opposed by most franchises. In addition to that, there have been allegations that the BCCI chief had even tried to fix the appointment of specific umpires for CSK games! The list can go on till the cows come home.

Coming back to Mr. Meiyappan, recent reports have claimed that he throws some of the most lavish after match parties where the players are piled with actresses and models and these are the sort of parties where Vindoo Dara Singh had special access. Moreover Vindoo even managed to get plush seats in the VIP enclosure at the Chepauk, where he hobnobbed with the franchisee hierarchy and his ‘friends’ in the team. A daughter of a well known bookie was also clicked with some of the players in one of these parties.

Meiyappan 216x300 Meiyappan / BCCI Corruption

Mr. Meiyappan has access to information that must have been privileged considering the fact that he is the CEO of the franchise and going by the sort of betting that goes on India, a fortune could be made by predicting something like the eleven that the CSK would play. Mr. Meiyappan might not have affected the outcome of the matches but he might have been a key source of information for bookies, who must have been prepared to pay a fortune to get information from such a source.

The final chapter of this saga is still to be seen but the involvement of the CEO of the CSK has simply reinforced a belief that everyone always suspected- it is perhaps the most crooked franchise in the whole tournament. The BCCI had forced the RR to file a case of ‘Criminal breach of trust’ (which can lead to imprisonment) against Sreesanth and Co. but would the BCCI chief file the same case if his son-in-law is found to be in the wrong? It’s a question that can be answered by Mr. Srinivasan only but going by the corrupt practices of the CSK in collusion with the BCCI over the past few years you can rest assured that you would still see the smiling face of Mr. Meiyappan in next year’s auctions.

Also See:
The Power of BCCI
The BCCI stands Vindicated Regarding DRS
Indian Cricket And Its Remarkably Short Memory

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