Many praised him as the ‘birth’ of a ‘clean’ Team India. Many seen him as the man who gave Indian cricket a fighter’s image. He is non-other than Sourav Ganguly. He has been respected for his clarity of thought and the ability to call a spade a spade. When Indian cricket’s image was doomed by the match-fixing controversy in 2000 and several former cricketers like Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar and Mohammed Azharuddin were under the scanner, Ganguly took over a new bunch of cricketers who went on to win India a second World Cup. But will Ganguly be the man in Mukul Mudgal’s panel if the Supreme Court that empowers the former judge to investigate the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing and betting case?
Ganguly’s name has been doing the rounds ever since Justice Mudgal, who in October last year headed a court-appointed three-member inquiry committee, produced a wish-list of persons he wanted to conduct a second round of investigation into the IPL scam. In a list submitted to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Mudgal has wanted “a former cricketer of repute and integrity” to be part of his team. Mudgal has proposed the name of M.L. Sharma, the former special director CBI, on his panel.
Apart from Ganguly, who has played the IPL till 2012 for Kolkata Knight Riders and now disbanded Pune Warriors, the name of Mohinder Amarnath, a former Test all-rounder and a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, is also doing the rounds. Amarnath has been a national selector who lost a good relationship with Board of Control for Cricket in India president N. Srinivasan when he wanted Mahendra Singh Dhoni sacked as Test skipper after India lost eight Test matches on-the-trot overseas.
According to a sealed envelope submitted to the Supreme Court on February 10, there are allegations of corruption against Srinivasan and 12 others. Srinivasan is already suspended by the court. His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who according to the Mudgal panel was the ‘face’ of Chennai Super Kings, has been indicted for betting and sharing team information. Gurunath has also been charge-sheeted by Mumbai Police.
It is still unclear if Supreme Court will approve the panel proposed by Justice Mudgal. The BCCI’s lawyers have already objected to Mudgal heading another probe because they found the Mudgal committee’s first report “erroneous”. BCCI wants a fresh panel. The Supreme Court was scheduled to order the constitution of the new panel on Friday, but it did not. The new panel is now expected next week.