| Sunil Gavaskar |
Calcutta: Not wanting to attract contempt proceedings, initiated by the Supreme Court, a hassled Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has begun work on replacing logistics manager M.A. Satheesh, who is currently on duty in the World T20.
Like some of the others in the BCCI, Satheesh is employed by India Cements Limited, whose vice-chairman and managing director is Narayanswamy Srinivasan.
The apex court has, in effect, suspended Srinivasan as the BCCI president. Its interim order was issued on Friday evening.
Late on Saturday, Team India media manager Dr R.N. Baba put out a release saying that Satheesh would be going home. The email didn’t mention the reason, though.
Three hours earlier, around 8.00 pm, Dr Baba had claimed ignorance. “Is it? I’m hearing from you (The Telegraph) that Satheesh is being replaced... It’s news to me.”
The interim order, from Justices Ananga Kumar Patnaik and Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, is unambiguous: “We also direct that till we deliver the judgement, none of the employees of India Cements Limited or its associate companies (except cricket players or commentators) will perform any of the duties assigned to them by the BCCI...”
India Cements Limited owns the Chennai Super Kings, which is at the centre of a massive scandal in the IPL.
Like the Rajasthan Royals, the Super Kings just about escaped being thrown out of the IPL.
Hearing in the Supreme Court resumes on April 16, the very day IPL VII gets under way in Abu Dhabi.
“The interim order reached us after office hours on Friday and, because of the weekend, nothing can be done today or tomorrow... However, secretary Sanjay Patel is on the job...
“We need to identify a suitable replacement and organise his visa. Because of the circumstances, it may take some time,” a top source, in the BCCI, told this Reporter on Saturday evening.
Somebody considered close to Srinivasan confirmed that, long before Dr Baba’s email. “Nobody wants more trouble,” he added.
Mayank Parekh, who was the logistics manager in the 2011 World Cup, looks to be the ideal replacement.
Satheesh has been with the Mahendra Singh Dhonis from June 2011.
With India already in the World T20 semi-final, the Dhonis have to be in Dhaka for a few more days, at least. The final is on April 6.
Satheesh is still in Dhaka, but the team hotel, Pan Pacific Sonargaon, insisted there was “no guest” by his name.
Meanwhile, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, designated as the “interim president, BCCI-IPL,” has had his first meeting with IPL chairman Ranjib Biswal and the “management staff” in Dubai.
A media release from the BCCI said Gavaskar was “confident” that IPL VII would be successful.
There wasn’t a word on Sundar Raman, the IPL’s COO. Chosen by Lalit Kumar Modi, he’s emerged as the one most trusted by Srinivasan.
Apparently, Raman’s name has cropped up during investigations into the IPL scandal. Eminent lawyer Harish Salve, son of a highly respected former BCCI president, the late N.K.P. Salve, has made that public.
While Gavaskar’s started settling down in his new role, he has had to put on hold a job he’s been doing for all of 28 years — writing a fortnightly column, Different Strokes.
According to the apex court, Gavaskar can neither write nor do commentary during the period he’s the interim president, BCCI-IPL.
Never before has there been a break in Gavaskar’s fortnightly column.