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Srini camp calls ‘informal’ meeting
Chennai will play host in show of strength on Sunday

Narayanswamy Srinivasan

Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s affiliated units have been called for an “informal” meeting in Chennai, which is effectively suspended BCCI president Narayanswamy Srinivasan’s backyard, on Sunday.

The BCCI has been without a regular president since the end of March.

There’s uncertainty over the annual general meeting, scheduled to be held at the end of this month.

The Supreme Court has rejected Srinivasan’s plea to be reinstated, pending submission of the inquiry report by the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel. Justice Mudgal’s committee, looking into the spot-fixing and betting allegations during IPL VI, has been given a two-month extension.

Srinivasan, though, continues to call the shots in the BCCI. It is no secret that quite a few among Srinivasan’s men want a postponement of the AGM.

The BCCI’s last regular working committee meeting was in Bhubaneswar in end February. Secretary Sanjay Patel has said that the working committee will be “convened shortly”.

“Sunday’s informal meeting in Chennai has been called to gauge the members’ mood. There are chances that the members would be sounded out about adjournment of the scheduled AGM till the Supreme Court appointed Mudgal committee tables its final report…” said a member of one of the affiliated units.

But why call a meeting in Srinivasan’s backyard and not the Cricket Centre in Mumbai?

“Having a meeting in Chennai will be a show of strength for the Srinivasan camp… There was a call for the secretary’s office about the informal meeting,” said the member.

“Since Srinivasan enjoys a majority, most of the members are of the opinion that we can obviously delay the AGM. Let us make it very clear…

“The BCCI AGM happening in the last week of September is a convention… But obviously, if some members have any other ideas, that will also be heard.

“Most of the units will be represented… None can risk incurring the wrath of the Srinivasan camp by being un-represented at the informal meeting,” the member explained.

As for the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), Jagmohan Dalmiya is unlikely to be present in Chennai on Sunday. Joint secretary Subir Ganguly will represent the CAB.

Srinivasan has already achieved one ambition — to head the International Cricket Council. The next is to have another three-year term as president of the BCCI.

The date of AGM is usually decided at the last working committee meeting, where the annual accounts are placed.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who holds additional charge of the defence portfolio, is also expected to play a key role.

Jaitley controls eight votes (including three institutional ones) and, so, neither those in office nor those aspiring to sit in different chairs can afford to take what he says lightly. Thus far, Jaitley has been “sympathetic” towards Srinivasan.