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Srini critic Bindra to end innings

Inderjit Bindra

Calcutta: Inderjit Singh Bindra, one of the few outspoken critics of Narayanswamy Srinivasan, is about to end his innings as a long-serving cricket administrator.

Bindra, who has been the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president for years, and has also served as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and principal advisor to the International Cricket Council, is set to hand over the reins of the PCA to D.P. Reddy.

Till late on Friday, there was no confirmation from Bindra himself, nor did any top PCA official take calls, but Bindra was quoted by a news agency as saying, “I am happy I am withdrawing from day-to-day running of the PCA affairs when the wonderful band of my colleagues still want me to stay on.”

The PCA executive committee will meet in Chandigarh on Saturday. Reddy, an IAS officer, is one of the vice-presidents of the PCA.

Though Bindra was the PCA president, in recent years he hardly attended any meeting of the BCCI as the affiliate body decided to play somewhat ‘safe’ on antagonising Srinivasan.

Therefore, the meetings were largely attended by M.P. Pandove or G.S. Walia. The PCA’s point was that while Bindra was free to air his personal views, the affiliated body should not suffer as it had been at the receiving end some years ago.

It was during Bindra’s tenure as president that a state-of-the-art stadium was built in Mohali. The superb ground and other facilities fetched PCA the best-run state association award for four years.

Bindra was the unanimous choice for president’s post when southern and northern Punjab associations merged. Bindra never had to contest an election to stay in office during his tenure.

Punjab also won the Ranji Trophy during his tenure.

Bindra has been a staunch critic of the effectively suspended BCCI president Srinivasan. Through his blog, he had aired views that IPL VII should have been called off after the spot-fixing scandal.

“It’s a moment of shame for us to see the game gaining such disrepute across the globe for a single man’s obsession with power.

“It is time for all of us involved in the sport; all the stakeholders of the game in the country to take a call and express our displeasure at the way the game is being administered,” he wrote in his blog.

“What stung me most was the use of the word ‘nauseating’ by the apex court in describing BCCI and its chief, N. Srinivasan. If that is not reason enough for someone to be ashamed, I wonder what is? It has been over 24 hours and the BCCI and its chief have taken no action as yet.

“What surprises me even more is the fact that there has been no murmur from the top brass in the BCCI. Yes, there have been statements from the BCCI vice-presidents but they are too open-ended. The inaction by the BCCI top brass reflects Srinivasan’s shamelessness to stick to his chair.

“How else would you explain the defiance by the man? He is surely worried about the skeletons in the cupboard tumbling out if and when he departs. Why else would he be resisting stepping down after being castigated by the Supreme Court?

“I fully agree with the apex court’s observation that till Srinivasan is not removed, the real truth of the match-fixing saga will not be revealed and the main culprits will not be brought to justice.

“Most importantly, the image of cricket will not improve. The longer he takes to vacate the chair, the longer it will take to regain the confidence of the fans and stakeholders.”