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After verdict, RR co-owner Raj Kundra pleads innocence

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New Delhi: Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra on Wednesday pleaded his innocence and said that he has been held guilty despite not having evidence against him, following the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee verdict which suspended him for life from taking part in any form cricketing activity.

The Lodha panel, in a landmark decision here on Tuesday, suspended Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royals from the Indian Premier League (IPL) for two years in the spot fixing and betting scandal that rocked the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament in 2013.

Former CSK team official Gurunath Meiyappan, who is the son-in-law of International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman N. Srinivasan, and Royals co-owner Kundra, both of whom were earlier found guilty of betting, were suspended for life from any cricketing activity undertaken by the BCCI. “Today is a very depressing and sad day for me as my integrity has been questioned and my support in this investigation seems to have backfired. I have always assisted and helped the Mudgal committee from Day 1 till now. It’s disheartening that despite there being no evidence whatsoever against me, I was still deemed to be guilty,” Kundra said in a statement. “I have not received till date a copy of their final report in which sweeping conclusions were recorded against me. Even the fact that neither the Delhi police nor Rajasthan police found any actionable case against me (for the obvious reasons that there was no evidence or material against me) has been used to make insinuations regarding my guilt for an act I never did.”  

The Justice Mudgal Committee was a four member panel, headed by former High Court judge Mukul Mudgal, which was appointed by the apex court to conduct an independent inquiry into the 2013 IPL spot fixing and betting scandal.

“While I have great respect for the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the judicial system, unfortunately in this case I cannot but feel that I have been wronged. I would request that they share the evidence that they have against me so that I can at least have knowledge of the basis on which they have destroyed my hard-earned reputation,” said Kundra.

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“I have anyway washed my hands of cricket in India. I also find it very unfair that the full team, the other owners, the management team, the players and the fans of Rajasthan Royals have been so harshly treated due to the alleged actions of one. However, I am just a minority stakeholder of 11.7 per cent.”

The Lodha and Mudgal committees held Kundra guilty for betting and also not reporting while being in touch with a bookie.

Earlier Kundra had also tweeted regarding the same.

“Many inaccuracies…Have requested for a copy of the judgement- obviously very shocked and disappointed… #Faith. I stated in front of the Lodha Panel loud & clear ‘NOT GUILTY’ #IPLVerdict I request RTI & any ‘evidence’ against my betting be made public!” tweeted Kundra.

“The #LodhaPanel had 2 decide quantum of punishment and not to decide guilty or not as that was done by #Mudgal committee #FlawedReport. Is it too much to request RTI to see the ‘Evidence’ that the #Mudgal committee has against me. I would like it made public for all to see.”

(IANS)

Next Story

It Should Be The Responsibility of The BCCI To Unearth Cricketing Talent

Unfortunately, the player, in order to please the authorised individuals, becomes a "yes man" to all concerned. After all, "money does make the world go round."

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The Indian team under the flamboyant Virat Kohli has been an enlightened side, looking to make a mark in the history of the game. India, one of favourites to win the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales, have all the ingredients to emerge as the worthy winners. Wikimedia Commons

In cricket, more than in any other team sport, the captain plays a significant role. The onus of all the field placements, bowling changes and behaviour of the players solely rest on his/her shoulder.

The shorter the format, the more difficult it is for the captain to make plans, ascertain his thoughts and execute them. The field restriction rules amplify his problems further, and one can see a helpless leader in the T20 format hoping for divine blessings at most times.

The Indian team under the flamboyant Virat Kohli has been an enlightened side, looking to make a mark in the history of the game. India, one of favourites to win the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales, have all the ingredients to emerge as the worthy winners.

They have a strong and well-established batting and bowling line-up along with a very good fielding unit. Everything seems perfect.

However, the performance of Kohli after the series of recent losses in the shorter format against New Zealand, Australia and now in the Indian Premier League (IPL) has sparked concern amongst the millions of Indian cricket followers.

Fortunately for Kohli, he has the backing of the brilliant cricketing mind of Mahendra Singh Dhoni when playing for India. But in a crunch situation and on a world platform like the World Cup, Kohli will have to stand on his own two feet.

The two World Cup winning Indian captains — Kapil Dev and Dhoni — are both strong personalities who led through their natural cricketing instincts.

Although lots have been written on leadership and how it is important to strategise towards a goal, in cricket, however, one’s basic instinct is more important than in any other field.

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They have a strong and well-established batting and bowling line-up along with a very good fielding unit. Everything seems perfect. Pixabay

I remember making fielding and bowling changes as a captain based on my natural gut instincts, which often proved successful. I was reprimanded when they failed, but I could bear with that failure rather than the other way around.

Kohli has shown that he is a decisive leader when he leads the Indian side in Test matches. After all, India are the number one side in the world. But he seems to struggle when it comes to the shorter formats. He needs to control every aspect of the game for his franchisee Royal Challengers Bangalore and use the experience of a Gary Kirsten only as a sounding board.

Dhoni is the only captain in the IPL who’s in control at the moment. Maybe his long standing equation with coach Stephen Fleming has compartmentalised his responsibilities well.

The IPL franchise owners must realise that they are not in the same league with football and rugby in Britain or basketball and baseball in the United States. The IPL is a commercially viable tournament of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that has a two-month calendar each year and nothing more.

During the inception of the tournament, one of the criteria was to encourage cricket and develop cricket academies and centres of excellence. But domestic cricket in India already had an existing structure for it.

This, therefore, makes it unviable for the private establishments, which are direct threats to the cricket associations which are present here. The IPL team owners have gone totally awry in the recruitment of support staff and other personnel who are part and parcel of the franchises.

Each IPL team has former cricket legends as mentors, well-known international coaches, batting, fielding and bowling experts with assistants and many more helpers who accompany all of them.

Majority of them are with the teams during the initial months before the tournament and then during the event. But the senior and established players take the centre stage only a few days before the start of the IPL, as the cramped international calendar makes it impossible for them to be released. Even the Indian domestic cricketers remain busy, as with three different formats of the game, cricket has almost become a 365-day affair.

I can well imagine the confusion in the minds of a captain and a player in many of the IPL teams. The other day, while watching the IPL, I imagined myself in the position of Shreyas Iyer, the captain of Delhi Capitals.

The young captain has Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Mohammad Kaif and Pravin Amre as advisors. All of them have been successful, not just on the field but also off it. Ganguly and Ponting were acclaimed as the best captains during their playing days.

And hailing from Mumbai, Iyer must have interacted a lot with Amre. So one can well imagine Iyer and his teammates’ dilemma as to whom to listen to. I am sure the other players in the IPL are also facing the same problem.

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Each IPL team has former cricket legends as mentors, well-known international coaches, batting, fielding and bowling experts with assistants and many more helpers who accompany all of them. 
Pixabay

This kind of support staff is ideal if one has a full year programme or if its for a national side. But it is a futile exercise, as well as expenditure, for a two-month tournament which has no permanency for a junior or a senior player.

Unfortunately, the player, in order to please the authorised individuals, becomes a “yes man” to all concerned. After all, “money does make the world go round.”

Also Read: Live Football And Game Schedule on The Fscore Site

Although the IPL is great for Indian cricket, especially for the young talent to get recognised, a more compact staffing and performance-based leadership of a captain and a coach is the best way forward.

Presently, the IPL teams are functioning like the popular saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”. The franchises are not the messiahs of Indian cricket and it should be the responsibility of the BCCI to unearth cricketing talent, not theirs. (IANS)