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‘Why discriminate between Sreesanth and Azharuddin?’

THE ASIAN AGE. | BIPIN DANI
Published : Mar 18, 2019, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Mar 18, 2019, 3:31 am IST

Sawani also makes it clear to everyone that it was not he who recommended punishments to Azharuddin and Sreesanth and other players.

S. Sreesanth
 S. Sreesanth

BCCI’s former anti-corruption unit chief Ravi Sawani believes that Azhar had a higher degree of culpability in match-fixing and was still let go, it is only ‘fair’ that Sreesanth too, is given relief.

Ex-cop Ravi Sawani, who headed the Anti-Corruption Units at the International Cricket Council  (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), believes that it was “fair” on the part of the Supreme Court to lift the ban which was imposed on S. Sreesanth.

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the findings by the Investigators and Disciplinary Committee of the BCCI against former Indian cricketer S. Sreesanth. The Court, however, has also said that the quantum of punishment needs to be reviewed.

Interestingly, Ravi Sawani investigated Sreesanth and two other Rajasthan Royal players, Ajit Chandalia and Ankeet Chavan, for their alleged fulfilling of promises made to bookmakers in the IPL in 2013.

“It is a Supreme Court decision and I have nothing to say except that if the life-ban on Azharuddin was lifted by the High Court in Hyderabad, then it is only fair if the ban on Sreesanth is lifted as well,” said Sawani in an exclusive telephone interview when he was informed about the decision of the Supreme Court.

Mohammad AzharuddinMohammad Azharuddin

Sawani further added, “If you compare their levels of involvement in match-fixing, Azharuddin had a higher degree of culpability in match-fixing compared to Sreesanth. So to that extent, it is quite reasonable on the part of the Supreme Court to give relief to Sreesanth.

“I am of the opinion that anybody who is involved even slightly in any kind of malpractice should be banned forever. However, if a player who has committed bigger crimes is let off over a silly technical reason, then the same treatment should be given to everybody else. I consider Azharuddin was much more involved than Sreesanth.”

Sawani also makes it clear to everyone that it was not he who recommended punishments to Azharuddin and Sreesanth and other players. “That is the job of a disciplinary committee. Our role was restricted to investigating and informing the disciplinary committee about whether the players are guilty or not. We don’t even recommend the quantum of punishment. Based on the evidence, I found them guilty,” Sawani signed off.

Tags: mohammed azharuddin, bcci