New Delhi, May 29: Former BCCI President Sharad Pawar today demanded a Home Ministry inquiry into all the 75 matches of the scandal-hit IPL VI, saying not doing so will give an impression that the Cricket Board is not serious about dealing with corruption in the sport.
"If the BCCI gives in writing to the Home Minister and request to investigate all the matches, the government can then investigate all the matches. They can interrogate anybody. They have legal sanction," Pawar said.
"If, however, the board does not accept it and says its own anti-corruption will do the job, I feel the board is not serious in dealing with the wrongdoings," he added.
A three-member BCCI inquiry committee is probing Gurunath Meiyappan, who is BCCI chief N Srinivasan's son-in-law and also CSK's Team Principal, and the spot-fixing allegations against three Rajasthan Royals players and its franchise as well as the Chennai Super Kings.
Justice T Jayaram Chouta, former Judge of the Karnataka and Madras High Courts, Justice R Balasubramanian, former Judge of the Madras High Court, and BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale are members of the Commission.
Pawar, who is also a former ICC President, was of the view that the IPL should continue after corrective measures are taken.
"One has to take corrective action. And IPL has to continue. It is a concept that Indian has developed and has been accepted by the global cricketing community," he was quoted as saying by The Week.
Asked if the current BCCI chief N Srinivasan should step down from his post on moral grounds, pending investigation, Pawar said, "I don't want to comment on any individual," adding, "the anti-corruption unit of the BCCI has no authority.
"Suppose it goes to any team owner or any bookie, they will not listen to it."
Pawar said the spot-fixing and betting scandal has "shaken the confidence" of fans.
"One has to go to the root of the problem. One has to take very effective, ruthless, corrective action against anybody at any level," Pawar said.
Later, addressing reporters in Mumbai, Pawar said he felt sad about what was happening to Indian cricket due to the spot-fixing scandal.
"I am sad to know about these from the television and print media. We accept BCCI's reputation has been affected by allegations of these happenings.
"I must say that cricket loving people of this country who have supported cricket definitely would be feeling sort of hurt because of what has been happening," he said.
He, however, parried a question about whether BCCI president N Srinivasan should resign in the aftermath of the raging controversy.
"I don't want to say someone should go or someone should not go because I am nobody. I have no authority to ask for resignation. Nor do I have the authority to comment on the opinions expressed by others. I would not have allowed this to happen," he said.
On the issue of conflict of interest involving Srinivasan whose India Cements bought Chennai Super Kings when he was a member of the cricket board, Pawar said the decision to allow him own the team was a "conscious decision" of the BCCI after obtaining legal advice.
Pawar said the IPL had brought financial stability to BCCI, contributing handsomely to improving cricket infrastructure across the country and even financially benefiting former cricketers by way of pension.
Pawar also touched upon the scandal during his speech as chief guest at the Mumbai Cricket Association's annual awards function at the Wankhede Stadium.
"Today every cricketer is disturbed and worried. I don't want to go into the details. I recollect and all of you have seen the Indian cricket team winning the World Cup in 2011, when Shashank Manohar was heading the BCCI, at this venue," Pawar said.
"And when I was looking after BCCI India won the Twenty20 World Cup in Johannesburg in South Africa. What has happened currently affects the spirit of cricketers but I am sure we can come out of this and our players will once again bring glory to Indian cricket," he said.
Pawar also thanked MCA for honouring him by naming the facility at its Bandra-Kurla complex in his name.
"I have been absent for many years from this kind of function. I am happy I accepted the invite though it was a pleasant surprise that part of the function was to honour me," said the NCP supremo.
He was referring to MCA president Ravi Savant's inaugural address in which he announced that the indoor cricket complex at the BKC will be known as "The Sharad Pawar indoor cricket academy".