Srinivasan refuses to comment, uncertainty prevails

Srinivasan refuses to comment, uncertainty prevails

A defiant N Srinivasan today refused to comment on whether he has taken over as the BCCI President again, bluntly telling the waiting mediamen to stop "hounding him".

"I can't reply, don't hound me like this," Srinivasan told reporters in Chennai when asked about his reported comeback at the helm of the BCCI.

There was intense media speculation that Srinivasan, who had stepped aside as the BCCI President pending an inquiry into the IPL spot-fixing scandal, had made a comeback to the top post on Tuesday evening though there was no confirmation.

There was no official communication from the BCCI on the issue yet. Some BCCI officials, when contacted, said they were not aware of any such development.

The Tamil Nadu strongman has argued that he can be back at his job now that the two-member internal inquiry commission to probe allegations of IPL spot-fixing and betting had completed its report and found no evidence against Chennai Super Kings and his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.

The Bombay High Court, however, had declared the BCCI's two-member probe as "illegal and unconstitutional".

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar, a division bench of justices S J Vazifdar and M S Sonak declared the two-member BCCI probe panel "unconstitutional and illegal", a development which has put a spanner on Srinivasan's return to the BCCI top post.

Unfazed by the Court order, Srinivasan had made it clear that he will attend the Working Committee here on August 2 which is expected to draw up the future course of action.

The Bombay High Court order has created a lot of confusion within the Board and interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya has no clue yet as to who will chair the Working Committee meeting on August 2.

"Who will chair August 2 meeting? I myself do not know where is the chair... Let me first understand where do I stand... I do not have any information officially. This however does not mean there is some difference with the BCCI," Dalmiya had said.

There are indications that some BCCI officials are not too happy that Srinivasan has decided to attend the meeting which has again brought the spotlight on the Board.

"In view of the Bombay High Court's verdict, it would be better if he (Srinivasan) shelves his plans of returning as BCCI President for the time being. He should wait till the matter is discussed and there is some more clarity," a BCCI official said on conditions of anonimity.

The Working Committee will take a decision on whether to immediately appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court or wait till the police authorities complete their probe in the matter.

During the day, top BCCI officials had consultations on the implications of the Court order and the possible options that are available to the Board.

The IPL spot-fixing scandal broke out when India pacer S Sreesanth, along with two other Rajasthan Royals players Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and 11 bookies, was arrested for alleged spot-fixing in the IPL.

The contracts of the tainted players were terminated by their franchise, which also lodged a criminal complaint against them.

It snowballed into a crisis for the BCCI when Board President N Srinivasan's son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Meiyappan was arrested on charges of betting on May 26.

A internal probe panel, originally comprising former judges Chouta, Balasubramanian and the then BCCI Secretary Sanjay Jagdale, was constituted on May 28 to investigate the allegations against Meiyappan, who maintained his innocence after getting bail.

Srinivasan, who owns the CSK franchise, remained defiant through the turmoil and refused to resign but had to step aside as BCCI President after a stormy emergent Board meeting on June 2 where Dalmiya took charge of an interim arrangement to run the Board's affairs pending the inquiry.

The upheaval led to the resignations of Board Secretary Sanjay Jagdale and Treasurer Ajay Shirke, who asked for Srinivasan's resignation on moral grounds.

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