A crucial Indian cricket board meeting was adjourned within five minutes by chief Jagmohan Dalmiya on Friday over lack of clarity on his predecessor N Srinivasan’s participation, on which the BCCI will now seek the Supreme Court’s opinion.
The working committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India was to discuss among other things the report of a four-member group on the IPL roadmap following the suspension of teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals by the SC -appointed justice RM Lodha committee.
The meeting might have been brief but an elaborate drama played out ahead of it. Srinivasan, who checked into a five-star hotel in the morning, had come prepared.
It appears the writ petition filed by CSK, which he owned until a few months ago, in the Madras high court for a stay on the Lodha panel order was just the first delivery of a long innings.
A day after the court threw out the appeal, Srinivasan came armed with a letter from retired SC justice BN Srikrishna that said there was no bar on him attending the meeting as Tamil Nadu Cricket Association representative.
The BCCI went one up on the ICC chairman. It consulted two former SC judges, leading to a tie — the board deciding to take the top court’s opinion and Srinivasan agreeing to it.
The court earlier this year barred the Chennai strongman from contesting BCCI elections as well as participating in its functioning.
As soon as the meeting started, everyone knew it would be a waste. “It lasted just five minutes,” said a BCCI member present in the meeting. Dalmiya called it off, citing lack of legal clarity.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said in a statement the meeting was adjourned sine die after deciding to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court “whether N Srinivasan could attend the meetings of the BCCI as the authorised representative of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association”.
When contacted, Srinivasan, who was asked to step aside as the BCCI chief following the 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal, said there was nothing wrong in him being there.
“Not a single member protested. There were two opinions in the meeting. Mr Dalmiya felt that another opinion should be sought and I’m okay with that. I don’t think there is any bar on me attending the meeting,” Srinivasan told HT.
According to a board member, Srinivasan looked confident about attending future meetings as he no longer holds a stake in CSK.