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N Srinivasan can contest the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) elections, but cannot take charge until the Supreme Court rules on his fate. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at the possible scenarios as a result of the verdict.
With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on the cusp of holding its Annual General Meeting
(AGM), the noose tightens on the incumbent president N Srinivasan. The Apex Court, while allowing him to contest the election, has nevertheless clipped his wings a touch. Even if the Chennai strongman wins, he won’t be allowed to take control till the Supreme Court decides on his fate. His adamant stand has been an embarrassment for the Indian board. After all, how can a man continue to hold on to the reins when his kin has been charged with wrong-doing that brought the game into disrepute? The drama continues!
Reports suggest that Srinivasan’s lawyers hilariously argued that his daughter chose his son-in-law and not him. The daughter may have made the choice years ago, but his presence at the Chennai Super Kings dug-out wouldn’t have been her decision. It is but obvious that Srinivasan had a role to play in placing Gurunath Meiyappan as the Team Principal at the franchise. When the scandal broke out, there was a laughable cover-up on their part as the “Team Principal” was relegated to a “cricket enthusiast.” And, on top of it, Srinivasan continued to deny an apparent conflict of interest even though his own private company owns the Chennai franchise. Looking at the weight of the evidence, certainly the Apex Court couldn’t have disposed off the matter so soon.
The allegations against Meiyappan aren’t small. He is accused of betting even against his team and raking in huge sums. Srinivasan may not have known about it, but being the chief of the board, he is accountable for it. It is his very son-in-law against whom the allegations are leveled. That matter is still sub-judice and nothing has been established by the court in question.
The court just couldn’t have allowed this farce to go on. The final decision may not be out yet, but they will certainly weigh all the factors in due course. So, what happens to Srinivasan if he goes on to win the election? It would be similar to his position for the last few months, when he had “stepped aside” while the betting scandal was investigated. Even if he wins, he may continue in the capacity of a “stepped aside” president until the Supreme Court reaches a final verdict.
If Srinivasan does win the election and gets back into power and the Supreme Court rules against him, it would be a huge embarrassment for the BCCI. And, no one but Srinivasan would be responsible for that.
The whole scenario certainly does not speak well of the Indian cricket machinery. While an important matter is going on in the highest court in the country, Srinivasan remains firm and wants to assume control. That stubborn attitude is what is tarnishing the BCCI’s image — a body that is already losing its friends due to its high handed attitude and unmatched arrogance.
The real battle begins on Monday when the hearing starts!
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