With the battle for the BCCI president’s post gathering steam, ICC president N Srinivasan arrived in Nagpur on Wednesday night by a special flight to meet former board chief Sharad Pawar.
Sources said Srinivasan went straight from the airport to the Nagpur residence of another NCP leader, Praful Patel at Ramdaspeth where he met Pawar. The NCP leader is in the region since Monday to take stock of the drought situation and the plight of farmers in Vidarbha.
Pawar who was in Yavatmal, rushed to Nagpur to meet Srinivasan when he learnt that the ICC president was coming. Details of the talks were not known immediately.
Pawar, Shukla, Chaudhary
The post of BCCI president fell vacant with the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya and the names of Sharad Pawar, Rajeev Shukla and Amitabh Choudhary doing the rounds as possible claimants.
As per the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) constitution, the interim president has to be chosen though a special general meeting (SGM) in case of death of the incumbent.
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur will have to announce the date of the SGM within 15 days of the death of the president ( Dalmiya passed away on September 20), giving three weeks’ notice to the affiliate units.
With the six east zone units of the BCCI now having their turn to field candidates for the president’s post, the contenders would have to get proposers to jump into the fray.
Pawar can’t be written off
While media reports have claimed that Pawar, now president of the Mumbai Cricket Association, has called it quits from the race for the big post, those who know him closely say the NCP leader should not be written off.
A day after Dalmiya’s death, Pawar attended his funeral, and then airdashed to Mumbai to hold parleys in Mumbai with his loyalists to gauge the emerging situation.
The Odisha Cricket Association is controlled by loyalists of former BCCI boss N Srinivasan, who had to quit following a Supreme Court directive to facilitate investigation into the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) betting and spot fixing scam.
Though Srinivasan is not in a position to throw his hat in the ring due to the apex court ruling, he could try to control the proceedings from behind the scene by fielding his confidant and Jharkhand State Cricket Association chief Amitabh Choudhary.
Srinivasan loyalists to meet
Srinivasan has summoned his loyalists for an “informal gathering” in Bengaluru on Thursday. PTI reported quoting sources that eight to nine units will be meeting the ICC chairman to discuss the roadmap ahead.
Amitabh Chaudhary will be in attendance along with majority of South units as well as some of the eastern units.
Meanwhile, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, who is pitching for IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla, has also started his back-channel talks with eastern units.
Shukla, on his part, was non-committal about his chances. “How can I say anything on this right now? I don’t want to speak on it,” Shukla told reporters at the AGM of Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) in Kanpur.
Some reports put Shukla way ahead in the race with finance minister Arun Jaitley favouring the Congress MP. But alot will also depend on which cards Pawar choses to play.