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Doubts raised over BCCI's proposed inquiry panel
Tuesday 22 April 2014

The BCCI proposed three-member panel to conduct the Supreme Court-ordered inquiry into the IPL betting and match-fixing scandal has come under severe scrutiny.

The proposed inquiry panel members— Ravi Shastri, RK Raghavan and Justice JN Patel all have serious questions relating to conflict of interest to answer. Although, the names suggested by the BCCI will have to first be accepted by the Apex Court when it hears the spot-fixing case next on Tuesday, but the Board seems to have squandered another opportunity to display that it really wants to set its house in order.

Former India cricketer, Ravi Shastri is on the payroll of the BCCI for his TV commentary duties, hence his financial interests are intrinsically linked with the Board’s. He is also part of the IPL Governing Council and is generally known as a Srinivasan loyalist amongst cricketing circles. 

In an interview to Mid-day.com, even Shastri explained his surprise at BCCI’s decision to include him in the probe panel: "I really don't know what my exact role will be. I am surprised that the learned BCCI members proposed my name. I really don't know who will ask me not to do commentary. That's why I need to talk to the BCCI in order to make my future plans." 

Raghavan, who was director of the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2000 when the bureau report on match-fixing rocked the game globally, is an office-bearer of a lower-division team in the league of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, of which Srinivasan is the president. He was also a witness before the Mudgal panel. Whereas, Justice Patel is related to interim BCCI President, Shivlal Yadav, thus raising serious doubts over the impartiality of the proposed BCCI panel. 

Former BCCI President, Shashank Manohar, who attended the emergent Working Committee meeting on Sunday told ESPNcricinfo that he was left "disillusioned" with the happenings at the meeting.

“The Board's reputation is the lowest that it has been in the 80 years since it was founded. The situation needed to be cleaned up.”

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