The Telegraph
Saturday , April 19 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Many BCCI affiliates want Manohar to lead ‘assault’

- Srinivasan seems to be more cornered now
Shashank Manohar (top) & Narayanswamy Srinivasan

Calcutta: A number of the affiliated units of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have “requested” former president Shashank ‘Mr Clean’ Manohar to come out of retirement and help put an end to Narayanswamy Srinivasan’s hold over the body.

Srinivasan has effectively been suspended by the Supreme Court, which has also made some of the sternest observations, but he has refused to resign as the BCCI president.

And, so far, nobody in the BCCI has asked Srinivasan to go before its image takes more of a beating.

Owing to Srinivasan’s conflict of interest (his company owns the Chennai Super Kings) issue and the mess created by his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, the “institutional autonomy” of the BCCI is at stake.

On Sunday, an emergent meeting of the BCCI’s working committee, in Mumbai, has to take a call on the way forward. Time is running out as the apex court resumes hearing on Tuesday.

Clearly, the BCCI is faced with a crisis of Himalayan proportions and, so, it’s assumed by many that Manohar will heed the multiple requests and do his bit to close the Srinivasan chapter.

Only somebody with stature and a proven record can look to end Srinivasan’s hold over the BCCI.

Jagmohan Dalmiya fits the bill as well, but the younger Manohar holds the key.

Ironically, the president’s baton had been handed over to Srinivasan by Manohar, in September 2011!

Manohar, however, didn’t commit himself (on turning up in Mumbai) when The Telegraph contacted him in Nagpur on Friday.

“I confirm that requests have come, but I haven’t made up my mind. There’s still time for the emergent meeting. I don’t plan too far ahead,” Manohar said.

Of course, Manohar will have to be nominated by the Vidarbha Cricket Association, a body he once headed.

Well-placed sources have been emphatic in pointing out that Manohar and Dalmiya, another former president, will have to set the agenda.

Dalmiya is the Cricket Association of Bengal president, so he doesn’t have to be nominated.

Inderjit Singh Bindra, a former president like Dalmiya and Manohar, has been a most vocal critic of Srinivasan, yet may not attend the emergent meeting.

Bindra heads the Punjab Cricket Association, but secretary Mohinder Pandove looks set to be its representative.

Till late in the day, there was no confirmation if Srinivasan planned to actually attend the emergent meeting, wearing his Tamil Nadu Cricket Association hat.

Talk is that Srinivasan will stay away. You never know with him, though.

To ensure that the BCCI’s institutional autonomy is protected, the emergent meeting could propose a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to the Supreme Court.

“Nobody in the BCCI wants either the NIA or the CBI to come into the picture... The mood, it appears, is for an SIT and to place that proposal before the apex court,” one of the well-placed sources stated.

The general impression is that the BCCI’s legal team has been hand-picked by Srinivasan. So, the emergent meeting may well seek a change.

As there’s an interim order by the Supreme Court, giving the non-IPL functions of the president to Shivlal Yadav, there can’t be any move to alter that arrangement.

Certainly not now.

However, the issue of who should represent India at the International Cricket Council (ICC) is very much there. Perhaps, that role can go to Dalmiya, who has headed the world body as well.

Srinivasan is set to be the ICC’s chairman in June, but as India’s nominee. In the dramatically changed circumstances, the BCCI has to undertake a review.

Meanwhile, Aditya Verma, the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary and the man credited with turning the heat on Srinivasan, has called on the BCCI to appoint Manohar as the head of a probe panel/SIT.

That apart, till the inquiry is on, Verma wants the BCCI to put in place a “good governance committee,” comprising, among others, former presidents Dalmiya, A.C. Muthiah and Bindra.

“I trust the emergent meeting will take the right decisions. If our hopes are belied, then we’ll pray to the apex court to order an inquiry by the CBI,” Verma asserted.

AFFILIATES ON the working committee

Permanent: Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, UP; By rotation: CCI, Goa, Haryana, NCC, Railways; Having staged a Test match in the last 2 years: Gujarat, Hyderabad, Karnataka, Punjab, Vidarbha.