New Delhi: Rajeev Shukla is back at the helm of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after being elected on Monday as the consensus candidate of three factions within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It’s his second stint at the helm of IPL, the eighth edition of which began on Wednesday.

In a telephone interview, Shukla outlined his priorities as IPL chairman, the steps the league has taken so far to prevent match fixing and betting and the status of the clean-up process. Edited excerpts:

What are your immediate priorities, given that the tournament has been controversy-ridden over the last few years?

We have two or three challenges to begin with. Firstly, we will look to enhance the glory of the IPL and make sure that each and every nook and corner of the country gets to watch the tournament. Secondly, and most importantly, our priority would be to establish the integrity of the game and avoid controversies. We are taking all the precautions possible.

What are these precautions? Any specific measures that you have taken this time around?

We have several anti-corruption measures in place. For a start, we have one anti-corruption official travelling with each team and we have also increased surveillance in hotels where the teams are staying. Our anti-corruption unit is working in close co-ordination with the government agencies, details of which I can’t divulge. During the 2013 edition, when we knew about these activities, we promptly banned the players for life, and we will not hesitate to do it again.

When Jagmohan Dalmiya took charge as interim chief of BCCI in June 2013, he announced measures, including an agent accreditation system and a ban on cheerleaders, to clean up the IPL. What is the status of the same?

Yes. Agent accreditation is a part of our strategy. In fact, Dalmiya prepared a 16-point vision programme for the IPL in 2013. Our immediate priority at the moment is the successful conduct of the tournament. Once the IPL gets over, the governing council will meet and discuss further measures, including Dalmiya’s 16-point plan. We have, on our part, banned post-match IPL parties. But on the issue of cheerleaders, we have left it to the discretion of the franchises.

Coming to franchises, what are the possible safeguards against future conflicts of interest, as we witnessed in the case of N. Srinivasan and the Chennai Super Kings?

The fate of the franchises (Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals) is solely in the hands of the Lodha committee (appointed by the Supreme Court in January and headed by former Supreme Court chief justice R.M. Lodha). We will not say or do anything that hampers the existing judicial process.

You said earlier that one of your priorities was to restore the integrity of the game. What do you mean by that?

The response in the first game, especially the turnout in Kolkata (for the match between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians)—it shows that we have restored the viewers’ faith in the tournament. I reiterate that we have taken all precautions, but despite that if there are any acts of corruption or other misdemeanours, we will take prompt action.

You are known to be someone who’s always been keen on good sporting relations with Pakistan. Does the recent bonhomie between BCCI and the Pakistan Cricket Board extend to the IPL, or perhaps its future editions?

I want to make it clear that we are not against Pakistan. If you look at the league, there are Pakistani personnel participating in different capacities—umpires or part of the support staff. However, when it comes to the players and their participation, we have to arrive at a decision after meeting with all the stakeholders, including the government and the franchises. We will sit and discuss all of this after the tournament gets over.