BCCI should investigate roots of IPL scandal: Maken

New Delhi: Sports Minister Ajay Maken today sought a proper probe into the spot-fixing allegation that has rocked the IPL and suggested that the BCCI should de-link itself from running the cash-rich Twenty20 league to avoid "overlapping of interests".

"As I have said, the BCCI should go into the root cause of the problem. They have to handle the investigation because BCCI is recognised by the ICC to run cricket in India. It is their mandate and their duty. They are foremost responsible," Maken told reporters here. "Suspending five players is not enough. BCCI must come up with a long-term solution for this problem," he added.

His comments came in the backdrop of a TV sting operation, which led to the suspension of five IPL players — Mohnish Mishra, Shalabh Srivastava, T P Sudhindra, Amit Yadav and Abhinav Bali — with immediate effect pending inquiry. The decision was taken after a lengthy tele-conference of top BCCI officials and members of the IPL`s Governing Council.

Maken said the BCCI should also open up its accounts to RTI to bring about much-needed credibility. "They should not submit their accounts to us but they should open their accounts to RTIs. This will bring much-needed credibility to the BCCI," Maken said. Maken also came out with a suggestion that BCCI should keep an arm`s distance from the IPL, citing the examples of English Premier League where the clubs run the tournament instead of the national football body.

"IPL should be at a arm`s distance from BCCI. It should not be under BCCI. IPL and BCCI should be away from each other so that there is no overlapping of interests. If you look at English Premier League and other leagues world over, they always have distance from their parent sports federations. The NSF never organises the EPL," Maken added. He also said that the politicians should keep away from running sports bodies. "Politicians should keep themselves away from running sports federations. Leave the administration of sports to qualified people who can run the sport," he said.

After the spot-fixing scandal rocked cricket in the wake of a television sting operation claiming to have exposed corruption in the cash-rich IPL, the BCCI decided to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the incident by Ravi N Sawani, the former chief of the ICC`s Anti-Corruption Unit, who is now heading the BCCI`s newly set-up Anti-Corruption Unit.