Two days after The Times of India reported his links with the betting syndicate and barely three hours after he reached the Mumbai city police crime branch, Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested.

The dramatic development threatened the status of Chennai Super Kings as an IPL franchise as well as his father-in-law N Srinivasan's continuation as BCCI president.

As Meiyappan is known to be the CSK principal (even though in a last-minute desperate bid it claimed that he was just an honorary member of the management team), there is high risk of the franchise attracting a termination clause which can be invoked against a team that brings disrepute to the IPL.

Equally, the rising clamour for Srinivasan's resignation as BCCI chief is now expected to reach a crescendo. Already, powerful groups were closing in to scalp Srinivasan, who has been running Indian cricket as a personal fiefdom, often bending rules to suit his interests while disregarding all dissent.

Soon after Meiyappan's arrest, JCP (crime) Himanshu Roy told reporters, "We interrogated him for three hours and have come to the conclusion that there is evidence of his involvement in the offence we are investigating. We will produce him in court tomorrow (Saturday)."

According to police sources, during the questioning Meiyappan acknowledged knowing Vindu Dara Singh. He allegedly told police that he had known Vindu - arrested for his alleged role as a middleman between teams, bookies and celebrities - for 10 years.

Police sources claimed that Meiyappan said Vindu had insisted that he bet on matches, and he finally did so on a game held in Kolkata. The Chennai players apparently used to entertain Vindu as he was known to be Meiyappan's friend.

After three days of lying low, a grim-faced Meiyappan finally showed up before the Mumbai police crime branch on Friday evening, after his request to be allowed to appear on Monday was turned down. He was questioned late into the night by a team headed by JCP Roy on whether he was linked to IPL betting and spot-fixing.

Meiyappan was summoned for questioning after Vindu told the cops about his association with him. Vindu claimed he had placed bets on IPL 6 matches on behalf of Meiyappan, who apparently lost Rs 1 crore in the process.

Meiyappan had proved elusive for the police and media alike for the last few days. It turned up that he had been staying at the holiday home of his father-in-law, N Srinivasan, in the picturesque Coaker's Walk area of Kodaikanal.