N Srinivasan is likely to give up the BCCI president post after he was asked to step down by the Supreme Court (SC) within two days’ time so that a fair probe can be conducted into the IPL-fixing scandal. This, however, is unlikely to change the power equation within the BCCI.
While three senior officials did indicate that the SC’s observation will be heeded, there were no voices of dissent raised against Srinivasan. “When the apex court has made an observation, Mr Srinivasan should honour that. Then again, it’s his decision. The ball is now in his court. Let’s see what he does,” said vice-president Shivlal Yadav.
Incidentally, Yadav is the most eligible candidate among South Zone representatives in terms of replacing Srinivasan if he were to resign. And the former India off-spinner told The Indian Express that he was ready to take up the responsibility. “I’m ready to take charge (as an interim head). Also, Indian cricket is far too strong to be bogged down by this. So, I won’t call it a crisis,” Yadav added.
A two-judge bench of the country’s top court asked Srinivasan to relinquish his presidency before it hears the IPL spot-fixing case again on Thursday. Justice AK Patnaik even went on to call the BCCI president’s decision to stay on last year despite the betting allegations surrounding his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan as being ‘nauseating for cricket’.
But Patnaik’s scathing criticism of Srinivasan doesn’t seem to have affected his clout within the BCCI’s corridors of power with none of the officials challenging the status quo. “Mr Srinivasan’s position may have become untenable as the BCCI president following the observations made by the Supreme Court. He should step down, else the BCCI and Indian cricket will lose credibility. But I won’t say he was wrong to continue as the BCCI head after the spot-fixing controversy was unearthed. There’s no charge against him,” said another vice-president Ravi Savant.
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Though many in the BCCI are still unclear about the way forward in case of Srinivasan’s departure, East Zone representative Chitrak Mitra was of the opinion that Yadav had to be the most likely candidate. “Since the term of South Zone (for BCCI presidency) is going on, most probably Shivlal will become the president. Last time also when Srinivasan could not attend the BCCI meeting due to his father’s demise, Shivlal presided over it,” Mitra said. “Jagmohan Dalmiya was made acting president the last time because then Srinivasan only stepped aside not stepped down. It’s different this time, Srinivasan has been told to step down,” he added.
While the SC’s observation did receive overwhelming support from a number of embittered former cricketers and administrators, Lalit Modi, not surprisingly, emerged as its most vocal advocate, along with being incessantly brazen in expressing his joy at the imminent exit of his arch nemesis. “Kudos to the Honourable Supreme Court for taking the most decisive action to say global cricket. Finally they have shown the door to Srini,” Modi tweeted.
“Hope my colleagues in BCCI will now once and forever get rid of this monster from Chennai who had cemented himself in all governing bodies,” he wrote. He didn’t stop there and in true Modi-style, he signed off by tweeting, “Waiting for Dusshera to happen early this year after the modern day Ravan is gone?