The Supreme Court may have abolished the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) top brass but it can’t do away with the clout some of the veteran administrators continue to wield on the proceedings - both within the Indian board and the International Cricket Council (ICC). The recent confusion stars two old adversaries - N Srinivasan and Shashank Manohar - albeit in different roles.
Manohar was the BCCI president who went on to head the ICC. Srinivasan has headed both the BCCI and the ICC. Right now however, the perception is that he has been disqualified as Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) president owing to the stringent norms brought in by the Lodha Committee and enforced by the Supreme Court.
Truth however is that Srinivasan still continues to be a major force in the brokering of deals that could shift power from one zone to another overnight. Right now though, his fight is for a ‘greater’ cause - India’s share in the profits pie that was initially chalked out by Srinivasan but is now set to be slashed by the more generous Manohar.
Manohar could have easily undone Srinivasan’s deed had the Lodha Committee recommendations were implemented to the word. Instead, the ICC (read Manohar) is faced with a conundrum of facing Amitabh Choudhury and Anirudh Chaudhry once again at its meetings that began in Dubai on Thursday.
Reports allege Choudhury had forwarded the minutes of the first meeting of the Committee of Administrators (COA) to Srinivasan. Chaudhry, on the other hand, is alleged to have forwarded details of various ICC matters too. There’s no doubt where their allegiance lies. And that is where Srinivasan could be successful in disrupting Manohar’s rollback plans.
By being able to send both Choudhury and Chaudhry along with Vikram Limaye - who is on the court-appointed COA - to attend the ICC meetings in Dubai, Srinivasan is effectively shadowing Manohar. The duo’s presence might create confusion on who might represent India at the Finance & Commercial Affairs meeting on Friday and the board meeting on Saturday but ideally they should not have their way.
There were rumours that India may pull out of this year’s Champions Trophy if the ICC slashes BCCI’s share but with the COA in place with the firm order of the Supreme Court that the game should go on no matter what, that fallout looks extremely unlikely.
But that is not the main cause of worry. Most forced out administrators feel no one can run the BCCI or the state associations like they can, certainly not the people who the court deem fit. It is this notion that will continue to prompt the former administrators to meddle in the affairs of the BCCI for the ‘greater good’ of cricket. Today it’s Srinivasan. Tomorrow it might be someone else.