Reprisal fears delay call for chief's ouster

Despite wielding considerable power, it took more than a fortnight for some of the bigwigs in the BCCI to make their stands clear on the spot-fixing scandal and their opinion on N Srinivasan continuing as the president of the Indian cricket board.

Following Union minister and BCCI Finance Committee Chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia’s call for Srinivasan’s resignation in the wake of the arrest of his son-in-law and CSK official Gurunath Meiyappan for his alleged involvement in betting, IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla and senior Board vice-president Arun Jaitley also voiced similar sentiments on Wednesday.

However, one striking feature of these dissenting individuals is that they are all big names in politics, whose voices can’t easily be muzzled. A closer look at the issue will reveal the reason behind them delaying their responses. Majority of the 31 associations affiliated to the BCCI are headed mostly by businessmen and in some cases former players, who don’t want to take the risk of falling out of favour with Srinivasan.

“I agree this is a serious matter,” said a former BCCI functionary. “You may ask me if people can’t stand up now, when will they? But at the same time the people are also mindful, rightly or wrongly, of the fact that he (Srinivasan) can be really vindictive.”

That Srinivasan can’t stand dissenting voices is no secret. Former selection committee member Mohinder Amarnath was shown the door after he pressed for M S Dhoni’s ouster as skipper after India was whitewashed in England and Australia.

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