Calcutta: Jagmohan Dalmiya, who once ruled world cricket, has been keeping a low profile in recent months.
On Wednesday, however, Dalmiya was the first off the blocks in issuing a statement on a day of an absolutely stunning revelation in the Supreme Court.
That being: Narayanswamy Srinivasan, effectively suspended as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, figures as the 13th and last name in the sealed envelope given to the apex court by the Justice Mukul Mudgal IPL probe committee!
Edition No.7 of the IPL got underway on Wednesday, but the much bigger news came from New Delhi, not Abu Dhabi.
Indeed, the mystery over why the BCCI had, on March 6, pleaded with the Supreme Court not to divulge the contents of the sealed envelope has been solved.
As a development, it’s massive. Which is why Dalmiya said a lot, rather quickly, without mentioning Srinivasan even once.
The question is: Will others in the BCCI take the cue?
“Expect some developments in a couple of days... It’s no more a simple matter, as Justice (Ananga Kumar) Patnaik has announced that there are 12 allegations against Srinivasan...
“Traditionally, a huge majority of the men in the BCCI are followers, not leaders. But this is an unusual situation,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph.
Apparently, some have initiated a move to “requisition” an emergent meeting of the working committee.
Till late, however, one wasn’t able to confirm that bit of news.
Those wanting to move against Srinivasan have to play their cards very smartly, for you can never count him out till he’s on the mat.
With the general elections keeping Sharad Pawar busy, the focus will almost wholly be on Messrs Dalmiya and Shashank Manohar, another former president of the BCCI.
Both have a clean image.
It’s odd, of course, that Shivlal Yadav, assigned by the apex court to carry out the non-IPL functions of the BCCI president, continues to keep mum.
The BCCI has until Tuesday to respond to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, petitioner Aditya Verma, who has almost turned Indian cricket on its head, expressed “complete satisfaction” with the observations made by the apex court.
“There’s complete satisfaction from my side... I’d never imagined I’d be able to take things to this level... Just shows there’s God and he’s certainly kind,” Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (which isn’t an affiliate of the BCCI), maintained.
The Dalmiya statement
“The honourable Supreme Court of India is already looking into the spot-fixing and related issues.
“All I can say at this point in time is that any probe that the apex court may deem proper, to cleanse the game, would be welcome.
“I firmly believe that the image of the BCCI needs to be restored and I have always said that the game of cricket needs to be clean.”