Tough task ahead
Cricket board supremo N Srinivasan’s enormous clout and survival abilities were revealed during the BCCI’s annual general meeting in Chennai on Sunday, when he assured himself of a third successive year as board president.
The Supreme Court had taken strong exception to Srinivasan wanting to get re-elected while hearing a Special Leave Petition filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar, and then there were murmurs of a rebellion by Andhra and Goa associations against him. But none of them were strong enough to deter Srinivasan, or more realistically, there wasn’t anyone within the board who was willing to take the chance of standing in his path. He played every trick up his sleeve to ensure full support from all six South Zone associations, while playing down the adverse stand of the apex court of the country. The arguments about his moral right to continue as the BCCI president after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was charge-sheeted by Mumbai police in the IPL betting scam have a valid ground.
But once the Supreme Court allowed Srinivasan to contest the BCCI elections -- though he can’t assume charge until the SC gives a final verdict in the plea made by CAB – it was up to the Tamil Nadu strongman to decide the course of action. The real test for the wily administrator begins now. He might not be the visible head of the BCCI, leaving that role for secretary Sanjay Patel for now. But there is no doubt as to who is the real boss. In the next one year, Srinivasan has this immense responsibility of ironing out the flaws within the BCCI and the Indian Premier League. By appointing his supporters in all they key posts, he has ensured a smooth working atmosphere for himself, and now he needs to put that environment to best use to cleanse the game.
The way Srinivasan mowed down his detractors was quite ruthless. Niranjan Shah and Sudhir Dabir were shown the door at the first hint of taking sides with the rival camp led by Sharad Pawar and Shashank Manohar. Lalit Modi, once his closest aide and now his strongest critic, has been banned for life from the activities of the BCCI. It’s time then for Srinivasan to show the same diligence while reconstructing the battered image of BCCI.