An informal meeting in Chennai was attended by members from 20 state associations, all of them N Srinivasan loyalists, in a show of strength which indicates that the sidelined BCCI president still enjoys considerable clout.
The presence of 20 state associations comes as a shot in the arm for Srinivasan, which means the Sharad Pawar faction is unlikely to get the numbers to challenge for the post of president.
“Up to 20 state associations have clearly said that they will back Srinivasan in coming election. There is no chance of any other group coming to power because they won’t have the numbers,” a member of state association, who attended the meeting, said.
If Pawar decides to contest, he will need two associations from East Zone to back his candidature and second it. However, this is unlikely to happen now.
However, at the meeting Srinivasan did not reveal whether he will contest or not. Instead he made it clear that he would leave it to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley— a former BCCI vice-president — to decide on the future course of action.
Saturday’s informal meeting began with Srinivasan briefing the members about what needs to be done in the light of the Supreme Court order. Srinivasan asked all members to support him and emphasized how the BCCI had become financially even more powerful in the cricket world.
He also made it a point to highlight the fact that IS Bindra, Shashank Manohar and Lalit Modi, had only a single point agenda —to bring him down — and didn’t have the interests of Indian cricket in mind.
Pawar supporters, including the Mumbai Cricket Association, Saurashtra Cricket Association, Maharashtra Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association and the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association were not invited to the informal meeting. Anurag Thakur, who is president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, couldn’t make it as he was busy because of the elections in Delhi.
A two-member bench of the Supreme Court had held that conflict of interest had arisen in Srinivasan’s case since he played a role in organising and managing events like the IPL in which Chennai Super Kings, a team owned by his company India Cements Ltd, participated while he took part in decisions concerning the team. The court had barred him from contesting BCCI elections till he had commericial interest in the IPL team.