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Dissent muted,decks clear for N Srinivasan’s return as BCCI chief

Unless I S Bindra attends BCCI meeting,Srinivasan is likely to have his way without any dissent.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata |
August 2, 2013 1:13:34 am

On the eve of the BCCI working committee meeting in Delhi on Friday,secretary Sanjay Patel confirmed that N Srinivasan will chair the meeting and “external” pressure notwithstanding,it is expected to be a smooth affair for the board president. However,it will be interesting to see if he follows the suggestion put forward by the Bombay High Court and forms a new probe panel to look into the betting and spot-fixing allegations against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and Chennai Super Kings,and also Rajasthan Royals and their co-owner Raj Kundra. The BCCI-instituted panel of (retired) Justice T. Jayaram Chouta and (retired) Justice R. Balasubramanian cleared them of any wrongdoings. Exclusive: ‘One can’t thrust his decision upon Srinivasan’

Unless Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president I. S. Bindra attends the meeting,Srinivasan is likely to have his way without any dissent. According to the PCA officials,they are not “very sure” about the former BCCI president attending tomorrow’s meeting. BCCI Working Committee to meet today

“Bindra is the only man who can challenge Srinivasan in an open forum. He did it during the working committee meeting in Chennai on June 2. Significantly,he didn’t attend the next two meetings. If he doesn’t attend tomorrow’s meeting,then Srinivasan will barely face any opposition,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express. Srinivasan defiant: I’m not accused

“The way things stand,Jagmohan Dalmiya will start the meeting by saying that he was given the charge till the internal probe was over. Now that the report has been submitted,it’s time for the members to decide the future course of action. Then a member is expected to propose Srinivasan’s name to chair the meeting and another will second it,” he added.

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Overwhelming support

Even after the Bombay High Court order declaring the BCCI-instituted two-member probe commission “illegal and unconstitutional” while nullifying and voiding its findings,Srinivasan has overwhelming support in the BCCI. Only two state associations,Maharashtra and Goa,are openly opposing the incumbent but they are not in the 24-member working committee. Among the committee members,PCA and Vidharbha Cricket Association (VCA) are said to be against Srinivasan returning to power but they haven’t publicly voiced their displeasure yet. There are members though who’d like to see the status quo being maintained till the police probe is over. The problem though is that they are short on courage,and more importantly numbers,to say this on the floor.

As far as forming a new panel is concerned,it is learnt that members are divided. A section feels that the matter should be taken to the apex court,but the majority believes that the BCCI would be better off naming a new panel as per the observation made by the High Court. “You never know what will happen in the Supreme Court. Now the board at least has the power to reconstitute the committee according to its own choice,” said the official.

Meanwhile,the IPL governing council,which will meet before the working committee,will go through the probe commission’s report and has the power to endorse or reject it. The governing council has seven members — Arun Jaitley,Sanjay Patel,Anirudh Chaudhry,G. Ganga Raju,Amitabh Choudhary,M. P. Pandove and Ravi Shastri. Questions have been raised about the meeting’s relevance after the High Court order. According to Goa Cricket Association vice-president Shekhar Salkar,the verdict is binding on the BCCI. Pandove,however,has a different explanation. “We need to check first hand what the findings are,” he said.

Shah calls for fresh probe

New Delhi: BCCI vice-president Niranjan Shah on Thursday became the first senior official to openly call for a fresh probe into the IPL spot-fixing scandal,saying such a step was needed as the Board’s “image has really gone down”. In a significant development ahead of the crucial Working Committee meeting,Shah said it was imperative to do something to improve the image of the Board,taking into account the recent Bombay High court order.

The BCCI’s internal two-member panel,formed to probe the spot-fixing scandal,had found no evidence of any wrongdoing against Chennai Super Kings and its Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan,Rajasthan Royals and Raj Kundra.

However,reacting on a PIL,Bombay High Court had said that N Srinivasan,whose son-in-law Meiyappan faced betting charges,had a role in forming the probe panel and thus he there was a conflict of interest. The court had found that the panel was “illegal and unconstitutional”.

“In recent times,Board’s image has really gone down. We must do something to improve Board’s image because cricket is very important,” Shah said. There is intense speculation that Srinivisan may return as BCCI president and chair Friday’s Working Committee meeting since Chennai Super Kings have been cleared by the probe panel.

“Board’s legal team will take care of it,they will advise tomorrow. We must have another panel,let’s wait for tomorrow for the IPL (GC) and Working Committee meeting,” Shah said.

“At the moment,in the view of the HC judgement,Board should ensure that nothing like this happens in future,BCCI should take strict measures,we have zero policy against Corruption,” he added.

Former board treasurer Ajay Shirke,who resigned,said that the Board had many legal experts and they should take the correct decision. PTI

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