Mumbai\/New Delhi: In April this year, before the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League began, Gurunath Meiyappan allegedly called up small-time actor Vindu Dara Singh and told him that he had been "warned by the ICC" to be careful of the company he was keeping.
Police sources claim this was one of the many telephone conversations that they have intercepted as part of their investigations into alleged spot-fixing in the IPL. The revelation could have serious ramifications for Board of Control for Cricket in India chief N Srinivasan, who has been stonewalling demands for his resignation.
Mr Meiyappan is Mr Srinivasan's son-in-law. He is in police custody after being arrested for alleged betting. His alleged involvement with bookies and Vindu, also under arrest, is being investigated. (Track live updates)
The conversation that the police sources claim they intercepted, if true, suggests that the International Cricket Council or ICC was watching Mr Meiyappan for his alleged association with bookies. Mr Srinivasan, as BCCI chief, serves as a Director of the ICC and his board has also entrusted the ICC's anti-corruption unit with keeping an eye on Indian cricket. It would thus be a fair inference that Mr Srinivasan would have known of any such development that came to the ICC's attention.
On Friday evening Mr Srinivasan flatly denied any knowledge of the alleged ICC warning to Mr Meiyappan. And said once more that, "I am not resigning."
Mr Srinivasan has so far distanced himself completely from his son-in-law even denying that Mr Meiyappan had a formal role in the Chennai Super Kings IPL franchise which is owned by Mr Srinivasan's company India Cements. He has explained Mr Meiyappan's constant presence with the team as "enthusiasm for cricket" though the police claim they have found, in searches at the latter's home, visiting cards that state he is the "'Team Principal."
There is a growing demand now for Mr Srinivasan's resignation as his detractors say that there is a conflict of interest in his staying on as BCCI chief when his son-in-law is being investigated not only by the police but also by a three-member commission appointed by the board.
In what could mean a showdown soon, Joint Secretary of the board Anurag Thakur said today that he had sought that a Special General Meeting of the BCCI be called to discuss the matter. If three-fourths of the board - which has 30 full members with votes - opt to impeach the president, Mr Srinivasan, an elected functionary, can be removed.