The BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur on Monday tried to come clean over bookie matter in a different way and different words as well. In a stinging reply to the ICC’s letter claiming he associates with a bookie, Thakur tried to turn the tables on former BCCI President, and current ICC Chairman, N Srinivasan in no uncertain terms.
Thakur comes out swinging by stating the ICC undermines its own claim by saying in the letter that the information about Karan Gilhotra being a bookie is unverified. Thakur goes on to say he wishes Srinivasan had shared the list of “unverified suspected bookies” with him and his other colleagues in the BCCI so that they could have stayed away from Gilhotra and any other suspected individuals.
What’s more, Thakur implies he has known Gilhotra who has been active in political and cricket circles in Punjab and adjacent states, for some time and has no knowledge of his “activities as a suspected bookie.” Then Thakur really goes after Srinivasan. He claims that the information about him and Gilhotra was provided by a Mr. Neeraj Gunde, who Thakur says is working for Srinivasan and is “is circulating to the media in Delhi the details of documents against your critics in the BCCI. He operates on your behalf.”
He doesn’t stop there. After identifying Gunde, he swings a strong right cross: “A procured complaint and an ICC advisory based on ‘unverified information’ was issued at your behest on the eve of the BCCI Working Committee meeting. It was intended to be a counter offensive on your behalf, since you have not reconciled with my election as Secretary, BCCI.”
Then came the uppercut:
“I would request at least now share with me or other colleagues in BCCI the list of suspected bookies in India, so that we may keep away from them. You may also share this information with your family members, whose involvement in betting has been proved.”
The last line is, of course, a reference to N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who the Supreme Court concluded was betting on IPL matches while also being a Chennai Super Kings team official.