I am honest, asserts Srinivasan

I am honest, asserts Srinivasan

His integrity may have been questioned several times since the IPL spot-fixing scandal broke out but BCCI President N Srinivasan says he is a “very honest” man, who was “unfairly attacked” at the peak of the controversy that shook Indian cricket.

Srinivasan, who was recently given the go ahead to take charge as BCCI President by the Supreme Court, insisted that he was targetted by the media for no good reason.

“I am honest, very honest. And, I think my character has been seen in the last few months,” said the Tamil Nadu strongman in an interview to Cricinfo’.

Srinivasan’s name was dragged into the scandal when his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested for alleged betting in the IPL. Meiyappan has since been charge-sheeted in the case.

Asked how he reacted when the Supreme Court allowed him to take charge, Srinivasan said: “I was pleased. People who have known me for a long time will believe what I say. In the sense that I am a person who has always focused on what to do next.”

“I don’t carry any grudges, I don’t have any such feelings at all. That’s how I am. People who have known me for years will attest to it. I will just move on. This happened, okay, fine, I dealt with it, I am glad, I am back, I go on,” he added.

When questioned on the issue of propriety and the public opinion, Srinivasan remained defiant. “See, I can’t do anything about that (public opinion). It doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t affect me because when I am not in BCCI I will not merit one line in any newspaper, so why must I worry about the 20 lines now?” he asked. Srinivasan reiterated that he never interfered in the functioning of the BCCI probe panel, which was later deemed illegal by the Bombay High Court, to investigate the IPL scandal.

Despite being held responsible for everything that went wrong with the BCCI and the IPL, Srinivasan said he remained unfazed and used his time away from the Board to improve his golfing skills.

“Since I had stepped aside from cricket, I was able to play golf. Administering the BCCI and running my own business takes a lot of time. So my spare time got eaten into. So the truth is, during this period I could afford to try to get my swing back again,” he said.

“I won’t call it tough or difficult. I felt I had been unfairly attacked. As I said somewhere, one particular paper had about 90 pieces written about me, 11-12 editorials, and I was occupying the entire front page for 10-11 days. This has never happened in independent India. Am I worth that much of coverage? I am not that big a businessman. BCCI is not that big,” he added.

Srini gives new spin to SA tour impasse

On the still-uncertain tour of South Africa, N Srinivasan was asked why the BCCI was taking so long to finalise the much-anticipated trip. “One of the reasons was we felt that we should be (playing) more international cricket in India during our season, and there should be a balance between inbound and outbound tours. And we felt that this year we had very little international cricket (in India), and therefore we needed to supplement it, so we invited the West Indies. This was the thought process,” he explained.

“If you look at our calendar, we’ll be hosting Australia, then the West Indies, then we are supposed to go to South Africa, then New Zealand, come back and play Asia Cup, then play the World Twenty20, come for IPL, go to England. It was a very long, tough programme, so we also wanted to lessen the strain if possible”, Srinivasan said.

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