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Volume 6 No. 212

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan "has decided to step aside," while Cricket Association of Bengal President Jagmohan Dalmiya takes over the day-to-day affairs of the BCCI, according to Narasimhan & Babu of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. The decisions "were taken at the BCCI's Emergency Working Committee meeting," which was held in Chennai on Sunday. Sources said that "Dalmiya's name was proposed" by Bharatiya Janata Party leader and BCCI VP Arun Jaitley and his group. Srinivasan announced that "he would not discharge his duties as the President of the Board, and till such time that the probe is completed, Dalmiya will conduct the day-to-day affairs of the Board" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 6/2). BLOOMBERG's Nagarajan & Mishra wrote the probe "is centered on the Indian Premier League," where IPL Chair Rajeev Shukla Saturday resigned. According to London-based Brand Finance Plc., the IPL, "which uses the short-format Twenty20 game," is worth $3.67B. Brand Finance's Global Strategy Dir Unni Krishnan said that "the controversies have destroyed" $1B of stakeholder value. PepsiCo Inc. agreed to spend 3.97B rupees ($70.3M) over five years to be the title sponsor of the IPL (BLOOMBERG, 6/2). The PTI reported Srinivasan said that "24 members of the Board attended the meeting in which there was no demand made for his resignation," though Punjab Cricket Association President I.S. Bindra "claimed that he did." Two senior members of the Working Committee also said that "the word resignation was not used at the meeting." The meeting also urged Secretary Jagdale and Treasurer Ajay Shirke, "who have resigned from the posts a couple of days ago, to rethink their decision and get back to the Board in 24 hours." However, both of them said after the meeting that "they have decided not to withdraw their resignations" (PTI, 6/2). The PTI also reported soon after being set up to run the BCCI, Dalmiya Sunday backed incumbent Srinivasan and said calling the arrangement an eyewash was "uncharitable and unreasonable." When asked by a reporter if the meeting was an eyewash, Dalmiya said, "It was the most uncharitable and unreasonable comment you have made" (PTI, 6/2). The PTI reported alleged bookie Paresh Bhatia "has been arrested by Mumbai police in connection with the IPL betting scandal after being released on bail in Goa, and remanded in police custody till June 6 by a local court" (PTI, 6/2).

POWER VACUUM: In Sydney, Gideon Haigh opined "once again cricket is confronted with the implications of having become a plaything of India's commercial, political and media elites." For Srinivasan's presence remains a substantial one, "and its withdrawal, however temporarily, stands to leave a colossal power vacuum." Srinivasan's moods and motives "dominated" the Int'l Cricket Council. He "was able to block the governance reform urged there last year" by consultant and Former Chief Justice of England and Wales Lord Woolf by sniffing that he did not need the advice of an English lawyer. He "was free to foist a BCCI stooge on the ICC's cricket committee" in place of the Federation of Int'l Cricket Association's trenchant Tim May. But at least with Srinivasan ensconced, "everyone knew whose sanction was needed for any major initiative." The lines of patronage and influence "may now need reestablishing." Global administrators and Indian commentators alike "have been on tenterhooks, waiting to learn to whom they will need to suck up" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/3).

Fears of widespread doping in Kenya have been described as unfounded and "ridiculous" by Int'l Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack, according to James Riach of the London GUARDIAN. The World Anti-Doping Agency has put pressure on the Kenyan authorities to set up a new testing facility in the northwest town of Eldoret, the location of an important training camp, admitting the country is a "hot spot" for potential offenders. However, Diack, the long-standing president of the IAAF, insists Kenya is one of the "most controlled" places in the world. Diack: "People who say Kenya is not controlled are ridiculous, they are the most controlled country. Kenya, Russia, the United States and Ethiopia -- they are the most controlled countries. In doping we are doing the job, we are doing it very seriously. We banned a Kenyan for four years in 1993 for not turning up for a test and now the fight is continuing" (GUARDIAN, 5/31).

Allegations of racism at a recent National Rugby League club Manly board meeting "may be heard by an independent tribunal after the NRL initiated a disputes process following an official complaint" by Sea Eagles Dir Darrell Williams (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/3). ... Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna said police investigations into race fixing that have been linked to the murder of horse trainer Les Samba "have damaged the racing industry without producing any evidence that the sport faces widespread corruption." Perna said that the 18-month probe into the Smoking Aces controversy, dealing with allegations a '11 race at Cranbourne was fixed, has produced "nothing more than conjecture" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/3).