The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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National polls then, cricket now

New Delhi, Oct. 19: The election to choose a new BCCI team ' postponed last month amid much drama and acrimony between the Sharad Pawar and the Jagmohan Dalmiya camps ' is finally set to take off with all parties agreeing on former chief election commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy as observer.

The counsel for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, K.K. Venugopal and Soli Sorabjee, told the Supreme Court today that Krishnamurthy was the consensus candidate of all parties. This was seconded by Harish Salve, the counsel for Netaji Cricket Club, Chennai.

The division bench of Justices B.P. Singh and S.B. Sinha directed them to approach Krishnamurthy and get back to it by tomorrow with his decision.

Once he gives his consent, the parties with the approval of the court will work out the terms of reference of his appointment.

The former election commissioner ' described as a “good cricketer” by the parties ' said over phone that he had no objection “in principle” to acting as observer but that he had not been officially approached yet, adds PTI. “I am waiting for an official communication,” he said.

The soft-spoken Krishnamurthy, who has settled in Chennai after retiring in May, had carved a niche for himself as an impartial administrator. As chief election commissioner, he presided over last year’s Lok Sabha polls. His interests range from Carnatic music ' his wife is a musician ' to cricket, which he loves to watch.

The cricket associations of Rajasthan and Bihar and the Netaji club had gone to the apex court against the Calcutta High Court order removing two former chief justices of India as observers for the BCCI poll.

K.N. Singh and M.M. Punchi were appointed additional observers by a single-judge bench on September 22 on a petition by the Rajasthan Cricket Association seeking modification of an earlier order appointing Justice Suhas Chandra Sen as sole observer. But the order was challenged and the next day a division bench retained only Justice Sen as observer.

The apex court had on October 3 favoured the appointment of an “eminent person” other than a judge as observer in an apparent attempt to keep judges from getting caught in the crossfire of cricket board politics.

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