Court restrains BCCI chief from taking charge

NEW DELHI (AP) Narainswamy Srinivasan's fight against attempts to end his control over Indian cricket suffered a setback on Friday as the country's Supreme Court restrained him from assuming charge until the matter is in court.

"In case Srinivasan is elected as president (of the Board of Control for Cricket in India), he will not take charge until further orders," the court said while hearing a petition from the regional Cricket Association of Bihar, which wanted Srinivasan barred from seeking re-election on Sunday.

The CAB contends that Srinivasan has been trying to protect his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who is accused of being part of a spot-fixing scandal during this year's Indian Premier League.

The court order could force a re-think on BCCI officials backing Srinivasan since an extension to his tenure could hamper regular functioning of the board as he will be the signing authority but will not be able to take charge immediately.

Meiyappan, the team principal of Chennai Super Kings, who are owned by India Cements company of which Srinivasan is the managing director, has been charged by Indian police on several counts including cheating and being in touch with illegal bookmakers.

Meiyappan was jailed for two weeks before getting bail, but the BCCI cleared him after a probe by an internal panel.

The Bombay High Court declared the panel "illegal and unconstitutional" but did not direct the board to re-constitute it.

The Supreme Court will hear the issue again on Monday to decide whether the BCCI's two-member panel, comprising former judges Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian, was formed with the intention of helping Meiyappan.

Srinivasan, who is looking for a third year in office which is allowed under BCCI rules, stepped aside to let former ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya take over following concerns of conflict of interest pending the inquiry into Meiyappan.

However, he presided over some recent meetings, including one this week when former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was banned for life for "misconduct and indiscipline" in running the IPL, which hit a low this year due to the spot-fixing scandal.

The spot-fixing controversy arose in May after the arrest of Rajasthan Royals players Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan by Delhi Police, who said they conceded more than a specified number of runs per over in return for money from illegal bookies. All three are out on bail.

Sreesanth and Chavan have been handed life bans while Chandila has been summoned on Sunday by the BCCI, which is expected to slap a life ban on him, too.

A fourth player, Siddharth Trivedi, has been banned for one year for not reporting an approach by bookies. Former Rajasthan Royals player turned bookie Amit Singh has been banned for five years.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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