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Hope for harmony after bad blood...

Brijesh Patel

Calcutta: After so much bad blood, Brijesh Patel has had the proverbial last laugh, masterminding his own and Mysore royal Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar’s return to power in the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).

Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath didn’t seek another term as president and secretary, respectively, but it’s a setback for both, particularly the former, as their candidates came a cropper on Sunday.

It’s not a surprise that Patel and Wadiyar won, but the massive margins tell a story, reinforcing that the former is an absolute master when it comes to elections.

Perhaps, the full-time politicians in Karnataka could learn a thing or two from the 61-year-old Patel, who polled the highest votes (977) across all posts.

In fact, back on October 19 itself, The Telegraph reported that many saw Patel and Wadiyar as favourites for another innings at the Chinnaswamy.

Patel, like Kumble and Srinath, is a former India cricketer, and had taken the lead in ending C.Nagaraj’s firm hold over the KSCA, back in 1998.

Nagaraj passed away in 2005.

Not that Wadiyar, who did well to bury the “hatchet” with Patel (they weren’t on talking terms at one stage), doesn’t have a standing of his own. In 2010, he’d lost to Kumble very narrowly — by 33 votes.

After 12 years as the secretary, Patel had stayed away from the last elections. He’s back possibly stronger than ever before.

On Monday, Kumble didn’t respond to specific queries from this Reporter, but did send a general text message.

It read: “We had a clear mandate the last time (2010) and, this time around, they have a clear mandate. Hopefully, it will be a harmonious relationship for the good of Karnataka cricket.”

A fine sentiment, but it won’t be easy after everything that was publicly said and privately whispered in the lead-up to Sunday.

Much of it was bitter.

As interesting in time to come, if not more, than the intra-KSCA happenings, would be the equation between Patel-Wadiyar on one side and Board of Control for Cricket in India president Narayanswamy Srinivasan on the other.

Srinivasan and Patel have, in the past, been rather cold towards each other. But, then, foes quickly become friends in the cricket administrators’ fraternity.

For the record, Kumble stood solidly behind Srinivasan.