The Supreme Court’s directive allowing N Srinivasan to resume charge of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) puts an end, at least temporarily, to the saga of trials and tribulation for the head of the powerful sports body.
Although propriety demanded that the Chennai industrialist step aside once the spot-fixing investigations in the Indian Premier League landed at the doorstep of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the team owned by Mr Srinivasan’s company India Cements, he clung on to the chair arguing that he has done no wrong.
Although he stepped aside as president in June, Srinivasan hung on through a tough few months.
With his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, arrested by the Mumbai Police in its betting probe linked to the spot-fixing scandal, charge-sheeted and facing serious charges, there is very much a case for Mr Srinivasan to stay away, if not quit as BCCI chief altogether.
The committee named by the apex court under Justice Mukul Mudgal is expected to go deeper into the corruption allegations around the CSK as well as Mr Meiyappan.
One key aspect of the probe would be determining the relationship Mr Meiyappan — who faces charges of cheating and passing on team information to alleged bookies — had with the CSK when the scandal erupted.
Mr Srinivasan quickly brushed aside his links with the team as that of an ‘enthusiast’ despite the fact that Mr Meiyappan was always present in the dugout, an area restricted to select franchise staff and officials.
The Mudgal panel, which has been asked to submit its report to the court in four months, is expected to be more thorough than the first inquiry which absolved CSK and Rajasthan Royals officials and the teams of any wrongdoing.
Mr Srinivasan can go about his business without much ado, unless there are adverse findings by the inquiry panel against the CSK and Mr Meiyappan.
In that case, there will surely be more pressure on the industrialist to step down. But whatever the outcome of the probe, the fundamental cause for this upheaval is Mr Srinivasan’s conflict of interest in owning a team while being a top BCCI office-bearer. It remains to be seen how the root cause is eventually addressed.