BCCI wants Laxman Sivaramakrishnan in place of Tim May in the ICC’s Cricket Committee

N Srinivasan (centre) is the BCCI president and the owner of Chennai Super Kings © Getty Images

Mumbai: May 5, 2013

In the recent article in the Financial Mail well-known journalist Neil Manthorp has talked about Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). How BCCI is driven by lust for unlimited power. How BCCI pressurizes the subordinate nations to support them on issues where their vested interests lie. In such a scenario one ponders if International Cricket Council (ICC) actually controls the BCCI, or is it the other way round?

Playing conditions, proposed law changes and other things to do with what happens on the field is debated by the ICC’s cricket committee, on which the players have two representatives: Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and the president of the Federation of International Cricketers Associations, former Australia spinner Tim May.

These men were elected by the players from around the world through the votes of their Test captains.
Of late, BCCI put up the name of Laxman Sivaramakrishnan as a candidate to stand against May. That is not an issue; erstwhile Indian leg-spinner has been part of Indian cricket team and is also a respected commentator. But the problem according to Manthorp is that he is employed by the Chennai Super Kings. BCCI president N. Srinivasan owns the franchise.

When the voting took place, nine out of 10 Test captains were in favour of retaining May. It was here that BCCI started to flex their muscles, according to Manthorp.

The acting CEO of Cricket South Africa was asked whom did Graeme Smith vote? He did not respond, but the other responses were less candid.

“The West Indies Cricket Board were asked to “persuade” Darren Sammy to change his vote. Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews was leant on, Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim had his arm twisted by his board and Misbah-ul-Haq was reminded to think about where his bread was buttered. At the last recount of the votes, Sivaramakrishnan and May were deadlocked at five votes apiece,” writes Manthorp.

Manthorp is wondering what the ulterior motive behind this desperation could mean? According to him abandonment the Decision Review System (DRS) – which has been India’s pet-peeve, could be the reason why India wants Sivaramakrishnan at the coveted position.

“If May is removed, Sivaramakrishnan may be able to tell the committee that ‘the players do not want DRS any more’. And that could be that,” writes Manthorp.