If N Srinivasan had been hoping that defiance in a room full of journalists would have been enough to silence all protest, the Eden Gardens proved otherwise.
The moment his name was announced by Ravi Shastri, who now is part of the three-member commission that will investigate the allegations against G Meiyappan, boos rang out from all corners of the stadium.Earlier on Sunday, Srinivasan had spoken about the BCCI’s resolve to justify the people’s faith in the organisation, saying how ‘Indians have been very proud that the country has produced a league that is the envy of the world’.
“I think the public will disagree (that CSK should not play the final). I think your stadium is sold out…the people of Kolkata are clamouring for tickets. I think they are answering you,” he had said at the afternoon press conference.
Well, some of the same ‘public’, while appreciating the cricket and the cricketers on show, reacted differently when his name was called out.
In many ways, Eden’s reception resembled what Suresh Kalmadi had got during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010. Then the Games’ organising committee chairman was jeered in the presence of the entire Commonwealth when he stood up to read the welcome address. Looking unfazed, he carried on.
Just before that though Delhi had cheered the loudest for the Pakistan delegation when it was their turn to march out.
It was a far bigger stage than the one Srinivasan found himself on Sunday. Srinivasan might have escaped a bigger embarrassment on Sunday but that perhaps was due to the fact that most of the Eden had emptied by the time he took the dais.
Applause for players
And one couldn't have missed the collective guffaw when Chennai Super Kings were announced winners of the fair play award, days after the fair play table itself had been removed from the official website of the tournament.
But that was pretty much it. Despite the controversies, cricket had still emerged the winner. And Eden didn't forget to applaud the yellow shirts when they trooped out.
Srinivasan didn't give away any award till the big trophy itself. By then Eden was busy serenading the new champions. There were no more jeers for him but that one round of boos spoke a thousand words.