N Srinivasan on strong footing but the wicket could turn sticky

The Supreme Court has asked the BCCI to reply on April 22 with definite corrective measures about how a fair probe can be conducted.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Updated: April 20, 2014 6:47:05 pm

An emergent working committee meeting of the Indian cricket board will be held in Mumbai on Sunday to discuss the steps that can be taken to ensure a fair probe into the IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal.

The Supreme Court has asked the BCCI to reply on April 22 with definite corrective measures about how a fair probe can be conducted. The onus now is on the working committee to show the right intent.

The Supreme Court had refused to reinstate N Srinivasan as BCCI president last week citing that his was one of the 13 names in a sealed envelop against whom unsubstantiated but serious allegations had been leveled during course of the IPL probe panel.

The cricket board’s interim president (administration) Shivlal Yadav responded to requests from certain members to hold an emergent working committee meeting ahead of the next date set by the Supreme Court.

The “sole agenda” of the meeting is to discuss the Supreme Court’s findings and decide the future course of action. But other issues might come up. Tomorrow’s meeting is unlikely to witness a boardroom coup. But with the BCCI’s reputation at stake, there will be deliberations on how to restore credibility and approach the Supreme Court with an acceptable proposal.

“Don’t expect fireworks in tomorrow’s meeting. We will discuss the way forward. This is a very important meeting and we’ve to touch upon many subjects. The primary task is to clean-up cricket. The image of the Indian cricket and BCCI has taken a severe beating and we’ve to take corrective measures,” former BCCI and ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya said.

The conflict of interest issue is widely regarded to be the root of all evil. The BCCI amended its constitution in 2008 to allow Srinivasan to buy the Chennai Super Kings franchise. The court has rapped the cricket board on the issue, now it needs to be seen if the working committee gives the whole matter a rethink. “Time has come to make amends. We must reconsider the issue because this conflict of interest thing has been creating problems. Let’s see if it comes up for discussion tomorrow,” former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah said, speaking to The Sunday Express.

ICC representation

The Supreme Court refused to bar Srinivasan from attending ICC meetings. The BCCI’s president-in-exile has been nominated as the next ICC chairman.

Asked about this Shah said: “We would like to see the honourable Supreme Court take a proactive role in this matter. It will help us. Our constitution doesn’t prevent him from going to the ICC.”

Numbers game

Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) secretary Ashirwad Behera, however, says that most of the members want Srinivasan to go to the ICC. “No charge has been framed against him (Srinivasan), so we must go by the accepted rule that one is innocent until proven guilty. Yes, he has the support of our association,” Behera told this paper.

In a 31-member unit, 16 is the magic number to retain majority and Behera believes Srinivasan has “at least 25 in his favour”.
Goa Cricket Association senior vice-president Dr Shekhar Salkar begs to differ. “There are many dissenters within the BCCI. The time has come to rise above the petty give-and-take politics and act in the best interests of the BCCI,” he says.

Manohar to attend?

Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar is set to attend the BCCI’s emergent working committee meeting as a special invitee of the Vidarbha Cricket Association, reported PTI. When Sunday Express contacted Manohar earlier and asked him if he’s willing to return if the members want him to, Manohar said: “This is a hypothetical question. So far no approach has been made.”

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