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IPL heat burns top Raman

A snapshot of how Indian newspapers reported Sundar Raman's resignation as IPL COO.

If the Indian Premier League’s success were to be personified by one man, many would argue that individual would look a lot like the lovechild of Lalit Modi and Sundar Raman.

Today, Lalit Modi is long gone – a fugitive from his own creation, languishing in the air-conditioned comforts of London. Modi’s departure saw an unlikely, but brilliant number cruncher take over the mantle of running the IPL – Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman, media planner-turned-business genius.

A snapshot of how Indian newspapers reported Sundar Raman's resignation as IPL COO.
A snapshot of how Indian newspapers reported Sundar Raman’s resignation as IPL COO.

Raman took the IPL to new heights, his mathematical and financial prowess making him the unofficial chief of Indian cricket – and by BCCI association, of world cricket – between 2011 and 2014.

So attached was Raman to his beloved IPL that when the fixing controversies began piling up in 2013, he only did what a doting parent would do in the face of allegations against their child – he looked the other way.

And now, the past has caught up with IPL’s main man. Sundar Raman has announced he will no longer continue as COO, bringing to an end a saga two years in the making and dropping the curtains on what many believed was a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’.

Why now?

Sundar Raman was named in the Mudgal Commission report, which stated he knew a bookie and was in contact with several times in one IPL season.

The biggest charge against him, however, was that he was a passive bystander in the all the murky goings-on in the Indian Premier League, particularly the activities of Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra. He is alleged to have sat on damning information and not conveying the magnitude of the corruption to the head honchos of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). He is scheduled to depose before the Lodha Committee on November 15, and if found guilty, could face punitive action.

Of course, he has denied all involvement in the scandal itself, but his ties with those who did the wrongdoing is beyond doubt.

What next?

The two most watchable and bankable teams – Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals – are out of the IPL thanks to their links to betting and spot-fixing. Now, with Sundar Raman’s departure, the BCCI is left without a man who instinctively and intuitively understood the business of making money.

Raman’s exit will leave the BCCI poorer, literally, not figuratively, but the ordinary cricket lover may yet benefit because of the latest developments. For all this means one thing: yet another executive complicit in the corruption that has plagued Indian cricket in the past few years is no longer in a position to wield his influence.

Will Indian cricket return to its glory days? Time will tell. But for now, the clouds of corruption are slowly lifting, and Raman’s resignation is a step in the right direction.

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