A file photo of  Rajeev Shukla. Photo: PTI (PTI)
A file photo of Rajeev Shukla. Photo: PTI

(PTI)

Rajeev Shukla resigns as IPL chief ahead of BCCI meet

Pressure mounts on BCCI president N. Srinivasan to quit in the wake of scandals surrounding the IPL

New Delhi: Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla resigned on Saturday from the post ahead of the emergency meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) working committee on Sunday that may see the exit of BCCI president N. Srinivasan in the wake of scandals surrounding the IPL matches.

The BCCI will hold an emergency meeting in Chennai on Sunday to discuss the ongoing spot-fixing scandal in the IPL that led to the resignation of two top officials.

BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur said from New Delhi on Saturday that there were “enough issues to be discussed" at the meeting.

The resignation of Shukla, who is also a union minister, comes as a severe setback to the incumbent president who has already been isolated by his team of officials, two of whom—secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke—have already quit.

Besides the attack on Srinivasan and the demand for his resignation, questions were also raised over Shukla continuing in the post as IPL chairman.

“I have decided to quit as IPL chairman. It is a decision which I was pondering over for some time. I think it is time to step down," Shukla said.

Shukla said he took the decision in view of the recent controversies and in the interest of cricket. He also took into account the resignations of Jagdale and Shirke before taking the decision to step down.

“Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke resigned in the best interest of Indian cricket. I thought this is the right time," he said.

Shukla’s resignation just a day ahead of the emergency working committee meeting in Chennai is bound to put more pressure on Srinivasan to quit the president’s post.

The 53-year-old Shukla, who took over as IPL chairman in 2011, said that the T20 event was going on fine till the spot-fixing scandal and other controversies broke out.

“I was given the task of IPL chairmanship which I tried to perform to the best of my abilities. The tournament was organized well despite all the controversies. The stadiums were jam-packed which proved that IPL was still popular," Shukla said.

He said that he never hankered for any position and was only discharging the responsibilities given to him.

“I have never hankered for any position in the BCCI. I will serve cricket in whatever role I am given," he said.

Shukla said it was important to restore the credibility of the IPL and ensure that the game was played in right spirit.

“Misdeeds of a few players and certain people cannot and should not bring bad name to hundreds of players who participated in the IPL with full honesty. The reputation of the IPL cannot be tarnished by a few greedy individuals," he said. PTI

AP contributed to this story.

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