India court presses cricket chief N Srinivasan to quit

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

India's Supreme Court has told the country's top cricket official to step down while an investigation is carried out into illegal betting in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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

The court has appointed a panel to investigate spot-fixing and illegal betting in the tournament.

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

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 strenuously deny any wrongdoing.

A three-member panel, headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, which was formed by the Supreme Court to investigate illegal betting in the IPL, submitted its 170-page report to the court last month.

The report said the allegations against Mr Meiyappan needed further investigation.

"Unless the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] president stands down, there can be no fair investigation. It's nauseating," Justice AK Patnaik of the Supreme Court said on Tuesday. The court set the next hearing for Thursday.

Mr Srinivasan has not yet commented on Judge Patnaik's remarks.

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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