|Jagmohan Dalmiya, Narayanswamy Srinivasan, Sharad Pawar
Calcutta: The politicians (professionals and part-timers) in the Board of Control for Cricket in India will be working overtime, but there’s “more confusion” than ever, going by recent times, at least.
It hasn’t been quite like this, not since the AGM got deferred in 2005, following the all-out war between Jagmohan Dalmiya and Sharad Pawar.
There would have been clarity, to a large extent, had the Supreme Court stayed the Bombay High Court’s order terming as illegal the formation of the inquiry commission which probed IPL-related scandals.
To add to the confusion, a well-placed source insisted that the Board is challenging the “observations,” so no stay could have been granted, on Wednesday. Strange, for why challenge observations?
The apex court has asked the Cricket Association of Bihar (petitioner in the Bombay High Court) to respond in a fortnight. After that, the Board will have a week to file its counter.
As such, Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice H.S. Khehar listed the hearing for August 29.
The impression one gets is that the Supreme Court doesn’t regard the Board’s ‘crisis’ to be a matter requiring urgent attention.
Even if the apex court had thrown out the SLP, the way forward — constituting a fresh commission — would have been clear.
On the face of it, more bad news for regular Board president Narayanswamy Srinivasan. He’d been banking on a quick stay, but there will be no end to his sleepless nights.
Dalmiya, the interim president, shouldn’t face such discomfort.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen... Litigation may stretch for months and years... It’s one territory beyond anybody’s control... You can’t read the Supreme Court’s mind,” a very senior Board official told The Telegraph shortly after the stay was not granted.
The focus has already shifted to the Board’s AGM, which is usually held by September 30.
Till the Bombay High Court jolted the Board last week, Srinivasan had been on course for a third (two plus one) year as president.
Today, it’s a different wicket, even though he wasn’t being probed by the commission.
“It’s one thing to be in the chair and seek re-election (Ranbir Singh Mahendra’s case, in 2005, had complications), quite another for an interim president to set the agenda,” is how an old hand in the Board put it.
Also, what if Dalmiya himself became ambitious? An amendment to the Board’s ‘constitution’ would come in handy, for it allows two terms of three years each.
Dalmiya had been the president from 2001-02 to 2003-04.
Then, there’s another former president, Union minister Pawar, who has announced that he’s (again) going to be a candidate for the top post in the Mumbai Cricket Association.
Pawar’s goal is to make a comeback as the Board president and one expects him to overcome the opposition in Mumbai.
The Mumbai body is headed by the Board’s interim treasurer, Ravi Savant, seen as pro-Srinivasan. Till now, that is.
Can Srinivasan keep his flock together? The answer will be known over the next few weeks.
Footnote: Many find it interesting that Bihar’s case is being argued by Union finance minister P. Chidambaram’s wife, Nalini. Chidambaram has, in the past, been tough on the Board.