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Focus on Manohar, Dalmiya as the heat is on Srinivasan

- Under pressure, BCCI calls emergent WC meet on Sunday
Shashank Manohar, Jagmohan Dalmiya

Calcutta: Is Narayanswamy Srinivasan’s innings in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) nearing its end?

That possibility can’t be ruled out, particularly if Shashank Manohar, a much-respected former president, comes out of retirement to lead the charge.

Traditionally, within the BCCI, there are followers in plenty, but leaders few.

Manohar’s stand has thus far been that he’s out of the BCCI. However, he has consistently held strong views on the Srinivasan affair.

Nothing stops the Vidarbha Cricket Association from nominating Manohar to attend Sunday’s emergent meeting of the working committee, in Mumbai.

So...

The reality is that ten-and-a-half months after Srinivasan was able to brush aside the pressure-creating resignations of Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke, he’s facing plenty more of the heat.

It looks to be a different ball game this time, more so as it’s an issue of the BCCI’s institutional autonomy as well.

Under “considerable pressure,” the BCCI’s interim (non-IPL) president, Shivlal Yadav, had to “instruct” secretary Sanjay Patel to call the emergent meeting.

A 3.00 pm start has been scheduled.

The notice sent out doesn’t mention the agenda, but that’s in keeping with the style encouraged by Srinivasan, currently effectively suspended, by the Supreme Court, as the BCCI president.

It’s understood that some of the 15 affiliated units on the working committee and some who aren’t on the powerful body put “considerable pressure” on Shivlal, after the apex court revealed that Srinivasan’s name figured in the sealed envelope given to it by the Justice Mukul Mudgal IPL probe committee.

Not just that, there are as many as 12 allegations against Srinivasan.

That a move was on to force an emergent meeting had, in fact, been reported in these columns on Thursday.

“I’m happy that better sense has prevailed and an emergent meeting has been convened. Many issues of a serious nature need to be discussed, at the earliest, as the image of the BCCI has been dented,” former president Jagmohan Dalmiya told The Telegraph.

Dalmiya, who’d been the only one to issue a statement after the revelation by the Supreme Court, added: “Of paramount importance is the need to protect the image of the BCCI in the eyes of the public. This can’t be emphasised enough.”

It’s for Dalmiya, who once controlled world cricket, to take his sentiments forward in the most logical manner.

More than anybody else, Dalmiya and Manohar have to take the lead in ensuring that the anti-Srinivasan momentum grows.

Both have an untarnished image and are men of integrity. Their voices will be heard.

Right now, the numbers may still be with Srinivasan, who has handed out enough goodies across most of the 30 affiliated units, but for the first time, a “discussion” on the shame heaped on the BCCI is set to take place.

The shame is all thanks to Srinivasan himself and his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan.

Enough pressure can be mounted on Srinivasan to finally step down. There may, at the emergent meeting, even be a clamour to call an SGM to respond in an appropriate manner if Srinivasan remains stubborn and shameless.

That’s not beyond him, though.

“Srinivasan came through unscathed last June, when he should have been asked to go, but the apex court’s revelation has turned the script on its head... If he survives now, he’ll be in the BCCI all his life. It’s time to act,” a well-placed source pointed out.

Last September itself, Srinivasan began looking at a second term (from East, not South), once the first ends in September.

The Supreme Court has given the BCCI the chance to keep its institutional autonomy (and respect) intact and, so, all the more reason to move quickly, before the hearing resumes, on Tuesday.

But the anti-Srinivasan camp won’t exactly be breathing easy, for he’s one with plenty of tricks up his sleeve.

The type never to be underestimated.