The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) may have topped the table but it has lost its charm following the arrest of its top official Gurunath Meiyappan in connection with spot-fixing scandal.
A metropolitan court on Saturday sent Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N Srinivasan and Team Principal of CSK who was arrested by the Mumbai police on Friday, to police custody till 29 May for his involvement in spot-fixing scandal.
"First a particular match was fixed, then Gurunath used to place huge bets on those matches," the Mumbai police Crime Branch told the court, demanding his custody for further interrogation. Public prosecutor Wajid Sheikh said that Meiyappan was in constant touch with actor Vindoo Dara Singh, who would tell bookies Pawan Jaipur, Jupiter and Sanjay Jaipur to place bets.
Mumbai Police Crime Branch (CB) Joint Commissioner Himanshu Roy later told reporters that Meiyappan had been placing bets through Vindoo for the last two years. He added that CSK Team Principal lost ₹ 1 crore from betting this IPL but gained most bets on matches involving his team.
Pressure is mounting up for resignation of BCCI chief and CSK owner N Srinivasan in the wake of the arrest of Meiyappan but Srinivasan is not willing to step down.
One big question that popped up following the IPL scandal is whether CSK franchise should be disqualified in view of the involvement of its top official in betting scam that has rattled the game.
If one is to go strictly by the rule book of the IPL, CSK has no moral right to even play the final match against the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Sunday, and it should be scrapped.
The Clause No 12.3 of the BCCI-T20 rule book says that a franchise, franchise Group Company or team owner, who brings disrepute to IPL should be scrapped.
Former IPL Chairman Lalit Modi had also told a news channel that Sreenivasan should resign and CSK be scrapped to maintain credibility and integrity of the game of cricket.
However, present IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla has ruled out the suspension of the final match between the CSK and MI at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on Sunday. He said that everything will go as scheduled.
But even if the final match is played as scheduled, it will go down in the history of the IPL as the most anti-climax final ever as the scandal will overshadow the contest. The arrest of CSK chief has taken away the moral right for the team to play again till the scandal is cleared.
The fact that CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni skipped the pre-final press conference also speaks volumes - a gloomy final. It was team coach Stephen Fleming who addressed the media ahead of the final match. Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma also decided to stay away from the media ahead of the all-important match, which is very unusual for publicity-loving IPL.
It looks like the gloom on IPL will die down only when Srinivasan steps down and his team CSK is disqualified. At least it will help build the integrity and credibility of the game and earn the trust of the cricket lovers around the world again.