The BCCIs emergent working committee meeting in Chennai Sunday may have proved president N. Srinivasans influence over its members but the veteran administrators support base isnt just confined to the board room.
The 68-year-old N. Srinivasan enjoys similar support from hundreds of cricketers from around the country. They not only include players signed by IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings but also some 100 others who are on the rolls of Srinivasans company India Cements.
Former India captain Rahul Dravid,incumbent skipper M S Dhoni and the entire Tamil Nadu Ranji team turn up for clubs under the India Cements umbrella. And beyond the cricket field,Dravid and Dhoni are vice-presidents in Srinivasans firm.
India Cements is into cricket since 1965,when there was virtually no money in the game. The company employed promising cricketers,looked after their careers and helped them prosper. A lot of cricketers went on to play for India, Tamil Nadu Cricket Association secretary Kashi Viswanath,also an employee of India Cements,told The Indian Express.
Srinivas Venkataraghavan was the first player from our company to represent the country. Dravid is employed since 1994. Dhoni,Dinesh Karthik,Lakshmipathy Balaji,Ravi Ashwin,Sudeep Tyagi,all work for us. Former Test cricketers like Laxman Sivaramakrishnan,V B Chandrasekhar are with us, he said.
India Cements has 13 teams in the Chennai league across six divisions. In the first division itself we have three teams. More than 40 active cricketers are employed by our company. More than 100 cricketers are on the company payroll, Viswanath said.
Every former cricketer has served until retirement. They all retired happy. Chennai Super Kings is just another team under India Cements. Not for nothing the players respect Srinivasan. Our contribution to cricket is globally acclaimed, he added.
Their association with Srinivasan has obviously helped several players and former players. Sivaramakrishnan is the latest beneficiary as Srinivasans active support helped him get into the ICC cricket committee,thwarting FICA chief executive Tim Mays challenge.
The former India leg-spinner is also on the BCCI commentary panel. Chandrashekar too is on the BCCI commentary panel for domestic matches.
The list of cricketers employed by India Cements: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India and CSK captain),Rahul Dravid (former India captain) L Sivaramakrishnan (former Tamil Nadu/India leg-spinner,now commentator and ICC players representative),V B Chandrashekar (former TN/India opener,now commentator),R Ashwin (Tamil Nadu and CSK),Sudeep Tyagi (Uttar Pradesh and former CSK),Abhinav Mukund (Tamil Nadu),Dinesh Karthik (Tamil Nadu),K B Arun Karthik (Tamil Nadu),S Badrinath (Tamil Nadu and CSK),Hemang Badani (former Tamil Nadu and India),Lakshmipathy Balaji (Tamil Nadu),Ramaswamy Prasanna (Tamil Nadu),Suresh Kumar (Tamil Nadu),Rohan Prem (Kerala),M A Satish (former Kerala and now logistics manager,Team India),Palani Amarnath (Tamil Nadu),Sreekumar Nair (Kerala),Napoleon Einstein (Tamil Nadu and former India U-19),Shadab Jakati (Goa and CSK),M Kasipandian Sivakumar (Tamil Nadu),S Suresh (former TN captain),Baba Aparajith (India U-19),Vijay Shankar (Tamil Nadu and CSK),Lakshminarayanan Vignesh (Tamil Nadu).