Calcutta: Given the pretty sensational happenings of the past 13 months, it’s not surprising that Narayanswamy Srinivasan’s first task on being formally confirmed chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) was to defend himself.
Most would have been rather embarrassed, but Srinivasan has always given the impression that he’s made somewhat differently.
Instead of going on the front foot, like Jagmohan Dalmiya, the first from India to head the ICC, back in 1997, Srinivasan had to literally plead with the media that he indeed was the right man for the most powerful job in the game administration-wise.
It’s ironical that someone being probed in his own country gets to “unanimously” chair the world body.
Srinivasan and 12 others, thus far not identified, are the focus of investigation by the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel.
If a reminder is needed, Srinivasan has effectively been suspended as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president by the Supreme Court.
An interim order was passed by Justices Ananga Kumar Patnaik and Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla on March 28. Status quo was maintained in their final order, on May 16.
[Justice Patnaik has since retired, so a new judge will sit on the bench.]
In Melbourne, however, Srinivasan claimed he’d “stepped aside voluntarily.”
Perhaps, we have to review our understanding of “voluntarily.”
While Srinivasan has achieved his ambition in cricket, petitioner Aditya Verma isn’t giving up.
Verma, who is the secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar, intends withdrawing his “interlocutary application” which sought Srinivasan and ICC-related details from the BCCI.
Now, Verma’s lawyers plan a fresh affidavit — “impleading” the world body.
“The Supreme Court starts its post-vacation sittings on Monday. I’ll pray that Srinivasan be recalled as the ICC’s chairman...
“By virtue of that position, Srinivasan has control over the anti-corruption wing...
“That being so, its independence would stand compromised if it is brought into the picture by the Justice Mudgal panel...
“In any case, how can somebody not fit enough to head the BCCI take charge of the ICC? Does it make sense? This fight will continue,” Verma, who is based in Patna, told The Telegraph on Thursday.
Clearly, yet again, there’s a massive conflict of interest featuring Srinivasan.
Footnote: The ICC’s “backgrounder” on Srinivasan makes no mention of his current status in the BCCI! It’s understandable.