Sun, 20 May 2012 22:18:10 GMT

Azad seeks transparency and accountability in IPL functioning

Former cricketer Kirti Azad today sat on a hunger strike, lambasting the "greed, lust for money and sleaze" in the IPL and demanded transparency in the cash-rich league's functioning.

Azad seeks transparency and accountability in IPL functioning

Azad said the IPL has unfolded like the script of a Bollywood movie, where the latest series of incidents have only added more drama to the T20 league.

Spot-fixing by five uncapped domestic cricketers, Bollywood star and Kolkata Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan's spat with the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) officials and molestation charges against Royal Challengers Bangalore player Luke Pomersbach hit the IPL last week as the tournament reached the last stage of league fixtures.

"The incidents that have taken place in the past few days, as a cricketer and an avid lover of the game, I feel ashamed of myself. My fight is not against any individual but against the system and the various ills plaguing the IPL," said Azad, who sat on a hunger strike outside the Feroz Shah Kotla ground here.

"Since the league is popular among the people, there should be accountability, discipline and transparency in its functioning, especially since there were allegations of molestation by an American woman against a foreign player, a sting operation by a channel showing the involvement of domestic players in spot-fixing and the source of money that fuels the IPL.

"IPL is like cinema where you'll find everything - hero, heroine, villain, vamp, black-money, action, molestation, rape, match-fixing. Greed, lust for money, sleaze has taken over cricket and that is the one thing I am fighting against," said Azad, who is also a BJP leader.

While addressing the gathering, Azad demanded that the BCCI should come under the RTI. "IPL, I suppose is only entertainment but we have money laundering, we have violation of foreign exchange, we have molestation case, we have one international Indian player slapping another Indian player, there was a sting operation for spot fixing. In that slapping case, you banned the player but you should have imposed a life-ban on him," Azad said.

"Where does the money that fuels the IPL comes havens like Mauritius, Seychelles etc....How is money being paid to cricketers over and above their legally contracted price? There needs to be transparency in the dealings of BCCI, and they should now come under the ambit of RTI.

"Why there is a conflict of interest in the running of the league? Why should the IPL bosses be involved with franchisees? Why should there be separate rules for icon cricketers?" he asked.

Another former cricketer, Vivek Razdan was also present at the venue while Bishen Singh Bedi could not make it to the hunger strike due to some family commitments.

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