While the fate of the Indian Premier League (IPL) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sundar Raman hangs in balance, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur came out in his support saying that the board will not rush to any decision amid calls for his ouster.
According to the Justice Mukul Mudgal committee report, Sundar Raman was in touch with "a contact of a bookie and had called him eight times in one season." The report also said that he had received information about Chennai Super Kings' team official Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra betting, but did not act on it.
When asked how Raman still continued in his post as IPL COO, Thakur clarified that he is an employee of the board and does not have the say to be a decision maker in the IPL Governing Council.
"See, it is the IPL Governing Council which takes the decision and not the employees. It is the members who take decisions. They (employees) implement the decision which we take," he said.
Who is Sundar Raman?
Born in Madurai, Sundar Raman was appointed as the IPL COO in February 2008 after he impressed former IPL chairman Lalit Modi with his vision for the tournament. His stature under the tenure of former BCCI president N Srinivasan grew every day. It is believed that Raman was the brain behind the 'Big Three' concept that triggered a massive change in the functioning of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Raman has a say in almost all business deals the BCCI cracks with sponsors and broadcasters.
When Srinivasan recently worked his way up to become the ICC chairman, Raman was inducted into the commercial working group of the world body that was in-charge of negotiating broadcasting rights with the Star Group for the period between 2015-2023.
He was also the backroom mediator in the famous ill-fated Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson spat during India's tour of England. While he is known to be an ardent cricket fan, Raman also auditioned during the first season of reality show Harsha ki Khoj, a programme started by ESPN-STAR Sports to groom new cricket anchors.
Justice Mudgal committee's findings
Sundar Raman was at the helm of affairs when the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal was unearthed in 2013 involving some cricketers, Chennai Super Kings team official Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra.
The report by Mudgal committee, which investigated the 2013 IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal, had stated that Raman knew "a contact of a bookie and contacted him eight times in one season," but claimed to be "unaware of his connection with betting activities. The report further said that he had received information about Meiyappan and Kundra betting on the IPL games, but did not act on it.
The report also highlighted that Raman was a key decision-maker in the IPL since he was practically dealing with all aspects of organising the game.
Justice Lodha committee's pending investigation
The Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha committee, which recently slapped a two-year suspension on Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals from the IPL, was expected to deliver its verdict on the tainted IPL COO. However, the committee sought more time to complete their investigation since the officer entrusted to investigate retired and they had to appoint a new officer, who is still examining the matter.