Dubai: The suspense over troubled Indian paceman Mohammad Shami’s participation in the upcoming edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), not to speak of his career, will continue till the Indian cricket board’s top brass is convinced that the allegations of any form of ‘corruption’ against him is unfounded.
Confirming this, Rajeev Shukla, chairman of IPL and one of the most influential members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said they were only concerned about the “match-fixing allegations part” levelled against the cricketer by his wife Hasin Jahan, whose slew of charges including domestic violence has dominated the headlines in Indian cricket since the first week of March. Shami is contracted by Delhi Dardevils to play in the IPL this season.
“I have been in touch with Neeraj Kumar, the investigating officer into this specific charge against Shami, and he has told me that a few more interrogations are pending before the closure of the case. The BCCI is only interested about this charge of his possible wrongdoing in the game before a go-ahead is given to his career. The rest is a family matter between Shami and his wife,” Shukla told Gulf News over phone from India.
The Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) of BCCI, headed by Kumar — a former commissioner of Delhi Police — is probing charges of him receiving money from a woman named Alishba on the insistence of an England-based businessman, Mohammad Bhai.
The cricketer has been also charged under various sections, including 498A (domestic violence), 307 (attempt to murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) on the basis of the police complaints filed by his wife earlier this month. A case under section 376 (rape) of IPC has also been filed against Shami’s elder brother.
The IPL commissioner’s emphasis on the corruption angle, many feel, suggests that there is a possibility of Indian board reinstating his contract should Shami’s name be cleared from any form of wrongdoing in his profession. This marks a departure from their earlier stance when Vinod Rai, chairman of the Chairman of the Administrators (CoA), said in defence of dropping him from the contract: “Ordinarily, you would distinguish and say that (the allegation) is a personal issue and the contract is a professional issue. But someone could easily point out and say this allegation is an unsavoury one and you are still rewarding him (Shami).”
The IPL, meanwhile, continued to reap it riches for its 11th edition when Tata Nexon, the Passenger Vehicle Business Unit of Tata Mobiles, was announced as the official partner for the league for the next three years.
“The fresh surge of sponsors for IPL for the next decade is overwhelming. We look forward to delivering great value to both the brand as well as the company,” Shukla concluded.