| Narayanswamy Srinivasan |
Calcutta: Officially, Narayanswamy Srinivasan isn’t the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), yet he continues to be the only one who matters.
In the chair or not, despite the embarrassment caused to the institution, his writ runs right across the BCCI.
Some have got favours from Srinivasan, so they stand compromised. Many others are actually fearful of his long arm. For the sake of convenience, they’ve turned deaf and blind.
That got reinforced when the BCCI reconfirmed Srinivasan as its nominee for the post of chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Oops, a correction, please...
Interim president (non IPL) Shivlal Yadav and the BCCI secretary, Sanjay Patel, alone did the needful for Srinivasan, effectively suspended from functioning by the Supreme Court.
Not an SGM or even a working committee meeting of the BCCI was called to discuss the reconfirmation. But who cares?
Certainly not Sharad Pawar, who heads the Mumbai Cricket Association, and the Cricket Association of Bengal supremo Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Both are former presidents of the ICC and the BCCI and their silence has, to say the least, raised eyebrows.
Getting back to the reconfirmation, Yadav is known to be close to Srinivasan, while Patel is an exemplary loyalist.
One needn’t elaborate.
“The secretary and I had a meeting... Mr Srinivasan’s name has been forwarded in his individual capacity... It’s by name, not a designation... There’s absolutely no bar on that,” Yadav, a former India off-spinner, told The Telegraph on Friday.
He didn’t go into the specifics of his meeting with Patel.
Yadav, given his present role by the Supreme Court, added: “There’s no order from any court which prohibits Mr Srinivasan from going to the ICC (as chairman)... We went by the legal position.”
It defies logic that somebody being probed in his own country, who has effectively been suspended as the president of his Board, can still head the world body.
Srinivasan and 12 others are being investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed panel headed by Justice (retd) Mukul Mudgal.
But, perhaps, in an era of scandals and scams, sab chalta hai!
Petitioner Aditya Verma, however, isn’t taking things lying down. He’s the secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar, which doesn’t have the BCCI’s recognition.
“Now, we’ll have to involve the ICC as well... There may be international ramifications once the probe gathers momentum. With Srinivasan as chairman, what freedom will the world body’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit have to act freely,” Verma questioned, agitatedly.
Verma failed in his bid to get the ICC-related matter listed before a vacation bench of the Supreme Court, but the BCCI can’t get away from answering when a regular bench takes it up, possibly in the first week of next month.
By then, Srinivasan would have become the ICC chairman, though.