Pressure mounts, BCCI boss may be given out
Has the betting-fixing scandal that has rocked the domestic T20 league prised open N Srinivasan’s iron grip on the Board of Control for Cricket in India? Sanjjeev K Samyal reports.india Updated: May 25, 2013 02:37 IST
Has the betting-fixing scandal that has rocked the domestic T20 league prised open N Srinivasan’s iron grip on the Board of Control for Cricket in India?
Till Thursday evening, BCCI heavyweights HT checked with were saying the man from Tamil Nadu was still all-powerful. By Friday evening, the tone had changed.
“Yes, it is becoming serious, the pressure is mounting. The dynamics of power can change in the next 24 hours, a lot of development is expected by tomorrow,” a veteran board member said.
A top man of an association, who holds Test status, was more blunt: “There is a clear conflict of interest and he should give up his post (as BCCI president) as early as possible.” The clamour for Srinivasan’s exit can only grow.
All eyes are now on the day of the T20 league final at Eden Gardens on Sunday. The bigger action will not be on the field but off it — in the VIP boxes. “We are not discussing this issue among us now. On the day of every final, every year, the members meet. That is when the big decisions will be taken,” said a BCCI member.
A statement by the NCP, headed by former BBCI and ICC president Sharad Pawar, calling for Srinivasan to step down (the party has since clarified that the comments were the personal opinion of its spokesman) seems to have triggered the shift in power in the board’s corridors. Though his critics are still not questioning Srinivasan’s authority openly, it has clearly made them more vocal.
Srinivasan has always remained unfazed by controversy, easily weathering questions about conflict of interest as he owns the Chennai Super Kings while simultaneously heading the BCCI. But this time, the fact that his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, has been dragged into the scandal has left him vulnerable.
Srinivasan's future as BCCI president depends on the outcome of Meiyappan’s interrogation by the Mumbai Police. If there is even a hint of Meiyappan’s involvement in illegal betting, it is likely to be the end of Srinivasan's innings in cricket administration, said a board member.
Explaining how the situation could get difficult for the BCCI boss, the member said: “If Vindoo Dara Singh’s story turns out to be true, then it's a serious matter. In that situation, the board refers the matter to a one-man committee and that report again goes to the president, so it will become a very awkward situation for Srinivasan. Again, he is part of the disciplinary committee along with Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah.”