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IPL 2019 | CoA ask KXIP for Written Explanation on Wadia Conviction

Devadyuti Das |May 3, 2019, 8:12 PM IST
IPL 2019 | CoA ask KXIP for Written Explanation on Wadia Conviction

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) once again met, this time in Mumbai, and have taken serious note of Kings XI Punjab co-owner Ness Wadia's conviction in Japan for drug possession. The industrialist was given a suspended two-year jail sentence for possession of cannabis.

The CoA have asked the IPL franchise to give a written explanation for Wadia’s arrest and will refer the matter to IPL Core Committee comprising of acting president CK Khanna, acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry.

Article 2.21 of the IPL Code of Conduct deals with all types of conduct that bring the game into disrepute. Ones which are not specifically and adequately covered are set out elsewhere in the Code of Conduct, including Article 2.20.

By way of example, Article 2.21 may (depending upon the seriousness and context of the breach) prohibit, without limitation, the following: (a) public acts of misconduct; (b) unruly public behaviour; and (c) inappropriate comments which are detrimental to the interests of the game, the Code of Conduct states.

“Wadia hasn’t been attending any of the matches over the course of the year and it is unlikely that he’ll do so now. We will still seek an explanation from Kings XI on his behaviour and wait for their reply. Although the matter doesn’t have anything to do with the league, it’s not good for the optics of the game. We’ll follow the rules laid down and refer the matter to IPL Core Committee or the Ombudsman once we get the reply from the franchise,” CoA member Ravi Thodge, who attended the meeting via video conference, told CricketNext on Friday.

CoA chairman Vinod Rai and member Diana Edulji were the ones present in person for the meeting at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.

Wadia was arrested at an airport in Hokkaido, Japan, for possession of 25gm of banned substance and sentenced to two years of imprisonment in a verdict that had been suspended for five years.

The other matter that was discussed in the meeting was the financial discrepancies that have been recently discovered by BCCI’s Finance Department. Amount to the tune of Rs 1600 crore was remitted to Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket Australia (CA) during the course of now defunct Champions League T20. This matter has been discussed by the CoA in the last three meetings with the committee now prepared to seek Reserve Bank of India’s opinion to get clarity on the issue.

“We don’t want to rush matters like this. We have been discussing and seeking opinion from our legal as well as finance departments to take the right steps. We can’t be rushing such matters because these can turn into major criminal offences. The matter came up for discussion today as well,” Thodge said.

The CoA were also apprised by the SC-appointed amicus curiae PS Narasimha that 29 units are now ready to be fully Lodha complaint.

“The amicus has been meeting all the state associations who have filed ‘Interim Applications’ over the last few weeks. We were apprised about the meetings as well. As informed by him, we now have 29 state associations who are prepared to be fully-compliant to Lodha reforms, up from 12-13 associations that we had last month.

“However, this process will still take some time and when these state associations get their new constitution approved and send us the papers, we’ll ask our legal department to check them and inform us. If the SC hearing had taken place as schedule on Thursday we would have informed this to the court as well. We are making rapid progress towards getting all state associations complaint and we should be able to finally have BCCI elections in the next few months if all goes according to plan,” the newest CoA member informed.

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