Speedster Mohammed Shami, in all likelihood, will find himself back in the list of centrally contracted players if the report filed by the BCCI's anti-corruption unit (ACU) head Neeraj Kumar absolves him from any wrongdoing according to the board's code of ethics.
Earlier this month, Shami, key member of the Indian cricket team, was accused of adultery, domestic violence and match-fixing by his wife, Hasin Jahan. It led to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to put Shami's central contract on hold, pending a thorough investigation into the allegations.
Shami's wife had also alleged that the India pacer had met and taken money from a Pakistani woman named Alishba in Dubai at the behest of an England-based businessman. Jahan had also filed a police complaint against Shami.
Committee of Administrators chief, Vinod Rai had asked the BCCI's ACU to probe the corruption charges against the India pacer and submit its report within a week. However, Rai's letter to BCCI ACU chief Kumar did not mention the word 'match-fixing' and instructed that the probe be limited to the charges of corruption and not on the others "unless you find that the same falls within the purview of the BCCI anti-corruption code".
Shami had taken to social media to vehemently deny the allegations. He wrote: “Ye jitna bhi news hamara personal life ke bare may chal raha hai, ye sab sarasar jhut hai, ye koi bahut bada humare khilap sajish hai or ye mujhe Badnam karne or mera game kharab karne ka kosis ki ja rahi hai (All these news reports about our personal lives are completely false. This is a big conspiracy against us and there is an attempt to malign me and harm my game.”)
It has been learnt that allegations of domestic violence levelled by Shami's wife Hasin Jahan are completely under police jurisdiction and the BCCI will have nothing to do with it.
"The brief is pretty clear. The BCCI's handbook has an 'ethics code' for cricketers with a specific clause regarding financial transactions. The ACU is only investigating Shami's dealings with Mohammed Bhai and Alishba and the alleged monetary exchange his wife is talking about. If Kumar's report absolves Shami of any wrongdoing, he will be immediately handed back his Central Contract," a senior BCCI official told PTI on Friday.
The senior official made it clear that BCCI will not at all sit back on judgement about Shami's personal life.
"Yes, there are specific allegations levelled against him by his wife. But the Kolkata Police is doing its job and it's completely their domain. In BCCI, we can't sit back on judgement on personal life and take away his livelihood. Also board doesn't have the powers to do so," the official, who is well acquainted with the judicial process, made it clear.
Asked what if the Kolkata Police arrests Shami, he replied: "It is a hypothetical situation. We can't sit here and pre-empt what the police authorities would be doing. It is not our job. You never know how long the investigations might take. We will cross the bridge when it comes," he said.
According to a latest report, the decision to hold back Shami's central contract was not an unanimous one and there was stringent opposition from the CoA and some state association members. In fact, a cricketer-turned-administrator was known to have strongly favoured Shami getting a contract, at the captains and coaches' conclave held a few days ago.
The opposition to the BCCI's decision would have continued without match-fixing allegations also being mounted on Shami, the report said.
It is also learnt that once the ACU report comes out, the onus will be on Delhi Daredevils to decide on Shami's participation in the Indian Premier League. Since IPL is an inter-club tournament, the franchise has to decide whether they want to play Shami. It is learnt that board won't take any call on their behalf.
Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla said that action against the beleaguered pacer would be taken after the ACU came out with its report. Shami was bought for a sum of Rs 3 crore by the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL auctions in January. Sources close to the franchise told Zee Media, the "decision on Mohammed Shami is not in our purview but we have discussed the issue with BCCI and they have given the matter to ACU and we are waiting for the report. Once, BCCI takes any decision that will be final for us too".
Acting BCCI president CK Khanna, at the sidelines of the meeting confirmed that IPL governing council will wait for ACU report.
The final call, however, will be taken by the CoA.
With PTI inputs