NEW DELHI (AP) — India's cricket chief Narainswamy Srinivasan has dismissed calls for his resignation after his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings official Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested by police for his alleged role in spot-fixing during the Indian Premier League.
"I will not resign just because some people with vested interests want me out," Srinivasan told the NDTV news channel on Saturday. "We'll probe my son-in-law's role in spot-fixing with as much alacrity as we are probing players who are alleged to have been involved."
Meiyappan was reportedly in touch with actor Vindoo Randhawa who is alleged to be involved in the scandal that erupted with the arrest of test cricketer Shantakumaran Sreesanth and two other players last week.
Srinivasan has often been criticized for holding offices which have a conflict of interest since he is both the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and also runs India Cements company that owns Chennai Super Kings.
Former BCCI president A. C. Muthiah, who was at the helm when the match-fixing scandal of 2000 broke out, said Srinivasan should resign immediately.
"We had banned players like Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar and our quick action had been appreciated by other cricket boards, but I don't see such measures being taken now," said Muthaiah, who is fighting a legal battle with Srinivasan on the conflict of interest issue.
The Indian team's sponsors are also opposed to Srinivasan continuing as the BCCI chief.
"How can he own a team and run the most important sports body of the country?" asked Subrata Roy, the chief of the Sahara India group. "And on top of it his relative is being linked to the fixing scandal."
Roy, who said earlier this week his company would not continue its sponsorship after the present contract expires in January, indicated it was Srinivasan's high-handed attitude that had led to the decision.
"The attitude of the cricket board and its boss has been very sad. Under the current circumstances, if I were in his place, I would have stepped down from the post till the time the probe is on," Roy told reporters.
Earlier on Friday, the Chennai franchise sought to distance itself from Meiyappan as it removed mentions of him as the chief executive or team principal from its website even though he is reported to have held a team owner's pass and was seen regularly at the team dugout where entry is restricted to team principals, players and team officials.
Chennai Super Kings said in a statement he was just an "honorary member" of the team management.
Meanwhile, India's law minister Kapil Sibal said the government had decided to draft separate legislation to deal with spot-fixing and match-fixing.
"After consulting the Attorney General's office and other ministries, we have decided to enact a new law," Sibal said at a press conference in New Delhi. "The present laws pertaining to betting and gambling do not apply to sports and thus the need for a fresh law."
The spot-fixing investigations gained momentum after Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested for allegedly manipulating certain parts of IPL games for their Rajasthan Royals team and receiving money from bookmakers in return.
Sreesanth has denied his involvement in spot-fixing but charges of cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust have been brought against all three and they stand suspended by the BCCI pending an inquiry.