Dhaka: Tuesday saw the fourth World T20 semi-finalist identified, but the mystery over who will represent India at the forthcoming executive board meeting of the International Cricket Council (ICC), in Dubai, continues.
The executive board is to meet between April 8-10.
Why the mystery?
Because the Supreme Court back home has effectively suspended Narayanswamy Srinivasan as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, but he’s desperate not to lose his hold over the ICC.
By virtue of being the BCCI president, Srinivasan sits on the executive board. In fact, he’s set to be the ICC’s first chairman once its restructured at this year’s annual conference, in June.
What needs to be remembered, though, is that Srinivasan’s in the ICC on the strength of his position in the BCCI, not because he’s the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements.
The Supreme Court has directed that Shivlal Yadav, the senior-most vice-president of the BCCI, carry out the non-IPL functions. So, technically, he should attend the meeting in Dubai.
However, there could be a move, initiated by Srinivasan’s many loyalists, to get him “nominated” as the BCCI’s representative on the executive board. Till such time that the Supreme Court decides on the case filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar.
“The ball is in the BCCI’s court... They have to decide who’ll come to Dubai,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph on Tuesday.
Hearing in the Supreme Court resumes on April 16, but the summer vacations start on May 12 and will continue till June 29. It’s unlikely that a final order (the interim one was issued last Friday) will be passed before the judges take a break.
Then, what happens to Srinivasan and the ICC chairman’s chair?
Assuming that the case is still on, Srinivasan may push for the chairman’s post to be kept vacant. For some time, at least.
“Few in the ICC like Srinivasan... Most tolerate him, because every country wants to play against India... Nobody wants to be blacklisted, or taught a lesson like South Africa, by the BCCI,” another well-placed source pointed out.
So, Srinivasan could still have his way, even if the Supreme Court is still hearing the case.
Meanwhile, it’s not confirmed, but one learns “some” in the ICC are studying the Supreme Court’s observations and its interim order very closely, wondering if Srinivasa has breached its “Code of Ethics.”
“In spirit, certainly, Srinivasan has violated the Code of Ethics which covers the directors of the ICC... Some want legal opinion taken, but it’s to be seen if they actually go for him... After all, they’re extremely wary of Srinivasan’s reach,” one of the well-placed sources said.
That the Supreme Court’s interim order turned out to be “mild,” in comparison to its observations, as former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke put it, has made the anti-Srinivasan men in the ICC take a step back.
Incidentally, one of the two judges, Justice Ananga Kumar Patnaik, retires in the first week of June. Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla is the other judge hearing the case.