Retired Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) head of ACSU (Anti-Corruption Security Unit) Neeraj Kumar, has hinted that the Indian Premier League might not be fully clean of fixing allegations. In an interview with the Mirror on 31 May, the former top cop mentioned his discontent towards the attitude of the BCCI for taking half-hearted measures against corruption.
Kumar, the former Delhi Police Commissioner, who had played an integral role in keeping cricket in India corruption-free ever since episodes of spot-fixing rocked the sixth edition of the IPL, fell out with the BCCI after he wrote a letter directly to the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators and BCCI CEO Rahul Johri, highlighting their disinterest in fighting corruption.
To no one’s surprise, Kumar was sidelined to an advisory role till 31 May 2018 and replaced with former Rajasthan DGP Ajit Singh.
Hinting towards the possibility of malpractices in India’s most popular sports tournament, Kumar said:
…becauses something has not come to our notice, we cannot claim that nothing hanky-panky has happened. Because it is a high-stakes tournament, it is that much more vulnerable to corruption.
Never shying away from speaking his mind, Kumar, in December 2017, had pulled up the BCCI for what he described as a “cavalier” and “indifferent” approach towards having an adequately equipped ACSU.
Questioned about the same on Thursday, he said that the boards across the world lacked the man-power to handle the issue that was enormous in scale. In West Indies, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, the anti-corruption unit consisted of one man, and in India there are only three.
“The boards are still not fully cognisant of the extent of corruption and are not willing to invest in anti-corruption work.”
In the wake of the allegations made by Al-Jazeera’s sting operation, when asked about the measures taken in India, he tore into the BCCI:
Of course, measures have been taken but with my experience I can say that the measures are very half-hearted. They are not adequate.Neeraj Kumar
Kumar said he believes that the problem is with the fact that people don’t care for much beyond the glamour in cricket, “Nobody wants to know what it (the ACU) is doing. It is just there, ticks a box”.
(With inputs from Mumbai Mirror and News18)