Aditya Verma writes letter to ICC citing N Srinivasan's violation of Code of Ethics
Dear Mr Higgins
Head of Legal
International Cricket Council.
Notification of violation of Code of Ethics by ICC director Mr N Srinivasan
Pursuant to the Code of Ethics for the ICC (the “Code”), it is a mandatory requirement that any Director (as defined at Clause 1.1 of the Code) shall:
“[..] act in an honest and ethical manner. In order to facilitate the transparent operation of the ICC, conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety will also be unacceptable. Directors shall not engage in any conduct that in any way denigrates the ICC or harms its public image. No funds or assets of the ICC may be used for any unlawful purpose, and no Director may engage in unlawful conduct.” (Clause 2.1.)
“[…] at all times serve the interests of the ICC and the sport of cricket as a whole.” (Clause 3.2).
Mr Srinivasan, being a Director of the ICC under the Code, was bound by the terms of the Code .
We believe that Mr Srinivasan has violated Clause 2.1 of the Code on a number of occasions, having acted in a manner which denigrates the ICC and harms its public image. Furthermore, his continued embroilment in the matter referred to below does not serve the interests of the ICC and the sport of cricket as a whole.
This letter is not intended to serve as an exhaustive description of the full extent of Mr Srinivasan’s violations. It is formal notification of just some of his violations which should be reported to the ICC Ethics Officer for further investigation.
Violations of Clause 2.1 of the Code
In 2013, an investigation into match-fixing by the Mumbai and Delhi Police (CR.No. 61/2013 and FIR No. 21/2013 respectively) found that certain individuals had been engaged in passing insider information to bookmakers. One of these individuals was Mr Meiyappan, the son-in-law of Mr Srinivasan, and the suspected principal of the Chennai Super Kings IPL franchise.
In response to the findings made by the Mumbai and Delhi Police, the BCCI convened an internal probe panel on 28 May 2013. The panel was tasked by the BCCI with reviewing evidence in respect of Jaipur (IPL) Cricket Pvt. Ltd, Mr Raj Kundra (the majority owner of the Rajasthan Royals IPL team), Mr Meiyappan and India Cements Ltd (of which Mr Srinivasan is the Managing Director). The panel sat for one day and cleared all of the parties of any wrongdoing, without seeking any input from either police force.
The basis upon which the BCCI nominated the 2 members of the panel was not disclosed, and was eventually subject to a formal complaint to the Mumbai High Court (No.55/2013). After hearing this complaint, the Mumbai High Court, in its order of 8 October 2013, held that the constitution of the panel had been ultra vires of the BCCI Regulations and Operational Rules. The Supreme Court of India subsequently appointed an independent committee headed by Mr Justice Mudgal to investigate the matter fully and match-fixing in the IPL more widely.
An initial report by Justice Mudgal made a number of findings in relation to Mr Meiyappan and Mr Srinivasan. These findings include the following:
- “The role of Mr Meiyappan in Chennai Super Kings stands proved, as does his role in passing on insider information. His wider role in match-fixing is still under investigation”. [p.68-73 of Vol. 1 of the Mudgal Report]. He was in fact the team owner of Chennai Super Kings. Mr Srinivasan’s press statement on 27 May 2013 that “he [Gurunath] did not have any role. He never visited the CSK office, but he would go [to the matches], he is very enthusiastic [..]” cannot, therefore, be accurate.
- “The franchise owner (India Cements Ltd.), of which Mr Srinivasan is the Managing Director, is responsible for failing to ensure that Mr Meiyappan (a Team Official) had complied with the BCCI Anti-Corruption Code, IPL Operational Handbook, and the IPL Regulations, in particular Section 4.4.1 of the IPL Operational Rules and Clause 11.3 of the Franchise’s Agreement”. [p.68-73 of Vol.1 of the Mudgal Report].
- Certain witnesses who provided evidence to the panel, which may have included Mr Srinivasan on behalf of India Cements Ltd, tried to “erase proof of Mr Meiyappan’s link with Chennai Super Kings” [p.13 of Vol. 1 of the Mudgal Report].
- There was a clear conflict of interest in Mr Srinivasan holding the position of President of the BCCI at the same time as being the Managing Director of India Cements Limited, the owner of the Chennai Super Kings franchise (Clause 6.2.4 of the BCCI Rules and Regulations). Mr Srinivasan subsequently amended the BCCI Rules and Regulations to enable him to hold both positions. The amendment, and the issue of conflict of interest, are now being examined separately. [p.77-78 of Vol. 1 of the Mudgal Report].