India court likely to decide cricket chief N Srinivasan's fate

N Srinivasan Mr Srinivasan was elected head of cricket's world body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), in February

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India's Supreme Court could order the dismissal of a top cricket official who has refused to step down during an inquiry into spot-fixing and illegal betting in the Indian Premier League.

N Srinivasan, head of India's cricket board, is also an IPL team owner.

On Tuesday the court said Mr Srinivasan should leave his post and set the next hearing in the case for Thursday.

There have been growing calls for him to quit, including from one of his fellow board members.

"Mr Srinivasan's position may have become untenable as the head of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) following the observations made by the Supreme Court," vice president of the board Ravi Savant told the AFP news agency.

"He should step down, else the cricket board and Indian cricket will lose credibility."

Another senior member of the board, Shivlal Yadav, told the NDTV news network that the BCCI "will wait for the top court's order to decide its future course of action".

Spot-fixing involves players bowling wides and no-balls at certain times arranged beforehand with bookmakers.

'Nauseating'

Cricket commentator Ayaz Memom said Mr Srinivasan should step down "until all inquiries and investigations are over".

"Whatever good work Mr Srinivasan has done by the BCCI and the sport would get negated by obstinacy. It is not just good character but common sense that he has to step down and distance himself from the BCCI until all inquiries and investigations are over, Mr Memom wrote in the Mint newspaper.

Mr Srinivasan, who owns the Chennai Super Kings team, "stepped aside" from his post as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president in June last year after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested over allegations of betting in the IPL.

Mr Meiyappan has since been released on bail, and Mr Srinivasan has returned as the head of the cricket board. Mr Srinivasan was also elected head of cricket's world body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), in February.

Both men deny any wrongdoing.

A three-member panel formed by the Supreme Court to investigate illegal betting in the IPL has said the allegations against Mr Meiyappan needed further investigation.

On Tuesday Justice AK Patnaik of the Supreme Court said: "Unless the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] president stands down, there can be no fair investigation. It's nauseating."

The IPL is considered to be the world's showcase for Twenty20 cricket. Top Indian and international players take part, contributing to what is the world's richest cricket tournament.

Last July Indian cricketer and Rajasthan Royals fast bowler S Sreesanth was charged along with 38 other people over the IPL spot-fixing scandal.

In September, India's cricket board handed a life ban to Sreesanth and his Royals teammate Ankeet Chavan.

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