BCCI election 2013 September 29, 2013

Srinivasan re-elected with tighter grip on BCCI


N Srinivasan was re-elected BCCI's president for another year, as expected, and cemented his hold on the board with the appointment of his allies to key positions. The other big winner at the BCCI's 84th annual general meeting in Chennai on Sunday was Ranjib Biswal, the Odisha Cricket Association president, who was named the new chairman of the IPL governing council. (Click here for the full list of appointments.)

Srinivasan had been under pressure for the past few days, after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was chargesheeted in the IPL corruption scandal, and there had been question marks over his immediate future following the Supreme Court directive to him to stay away from the job, should he win, till he is cleared by it. However, events in Chennai sent out the unambiguous message that he remained as powerful as ever.

"I have won unopposed but I am not taking charge," Srinivasan told IANS. "I have asked the new office bearers to take charge. I am awaiting the Supreme Court order. There are a lot of things on me now."

New vice-president Rajiv Shukla sounded more triumphant. "Everybody was elected unopposed," he said. "Mr Srinivasan chaired the meeting. The meeting had to take place with the head (who is the new president). It's not contempt of court. He will only take charge after the fresh Supreme Court guidelines."

The daily work will be handled by Srinivasan's close aide, Sanjay Patel, confirmed today as secretary, a post he had been handling on an interim basis since the IPL scandal broke out in June. The job had so far been assigned to Jagmohan Dalmiya but Patel's ascension to a permanent role makes him eligible for this position.

Srinivasan's re-election came about via the amendment to the BCCI constitution that required any challenger to the presidential post to be supported from the incumbent's zone - south zone, in Srinivasan's case. Once he had managed to get all of the BCCI's six southern units on his side, his election was all but certain and he was the only candidate to have filed his papers on Saturday. After that, it was a matter of pleasing all his supporters who had stood beside him during what has been a tumultuous phase not only for Srinivasan but for Indian cricket as well.

While all the major posts in BCCI - secretary Patel, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary and joint secretary Anurag Thakur - went to those from the Srinivasan lobby, key personnel from each of the six south zone units were handed an influential position. Anil Kumble (Karnataka) and Shivlal Yadav (Hyderabad) retained their positions as technical committee chairman and vice-president, respectively; G Ganga Raju (Andhra) was appointed the finance committee chairman, TC Mathew (Kerala) replaced Biswal as the NCA board chairman, while Vinod Phadke (Goa) will be heading the media committee for the next year.

The BCCI has traditionally followed a system of appeasing all of its chief's favourites. However, most of its earlier regimes, including the first two years of Srinivasan, have seen even dissenting voices being accommodated to a certain extent. However, the manner in which Srinivasan has managed to get rid of all those who have opposed him or the board's functioning during his rule underlines his reputation of being a shrewd operator.

Right from Jyotiraditya Scindia, one of the youngest federal ministers, to Niranjan Shah, who has been involved in the BCCI for four decades to Vidarbha's Sudhir Dabir who was the central zone vice-president, Srinivasan has sidelined all those who had given a hint of opposing him. The BCCI structure in itself allows the four principal office bearers - president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer - to dictate terms. However, Srinivasan ensured that the likes of Shah and Dabir, who were closer to the opposing Sharad Pawar-Shashank Manohar faction than him, were replaced as vice-presidents despite the post not holding much significance in the BCCI structure.

"As per the constitution, the board has conducted the AGM," Shah said. "Srinivasan chaired it. It is part of the democratic process. It's all about majority. I hold no grudge against anyone. It's not necessary [for a vice-president to seek re-election]."

With the credibility of the IPL at stake and the next edition likely to clash with union elections, it was a challenge for Srinivasan to rope in an IPL chairman who could understand the game as well as deal with politicians. Besides being in Srinivasan's good books, Biswal, a former MP and a former India Under-19 captain, fits the bill on both the counts. Through Kumble, Srinivasan also managed to rope in former great Gundappa Viswanath on the IPL governing council to lend it more credibility from the fans' perspective.

A day after his appointment, Biswal told The Telegraph that he wanted to put the focus back on cricket in the IPL: "I'm aware that a lot of things happened in the last edition of the IPL, but I've just been appointed the chairman. First, I'd like to meet colleagues on the governing council and get their views. After that, the operational team of the IPL... A road map will be drawn where cricket is the priority."

Thanks to the court rider, the contentious issues, including dealing with the government's double-taxation policy and India's South Africa tour, were not even touched upon formally in the minutes.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AJay on October 1, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    I think in time to come, Indian cricket will regret not having taken advantage of this opportune moment to change they way cricket in India is governed. I wonder what it will take for BCCI to work for the interests of All Cricket in India and so become a trully respected and admired "Leader" of "World Cricket"?

  • Satish Chandar on October 1, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @wibblewibble : Good one but what i feel is, who authorised the Wolf report? Why would a report come out of world saying democracy when two big guns who ruled as per their wish were not able to digest and ruled by the biggest of them all.. They would have opted for democracy when they were heading the ICC right?

  • Dummy4 on October 1, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    @ LongLiveTestCricket on (September 30, 2013, 6:23 GMT)

    1. AGM is for conducting elections; election of office bearers. 2. IND-SA tour is handled at a different level. 3. For more than the point 2 above is in Logart's court. Hopehe gets in toch with BCCI ( most probably through Sanjay Patel; since initial contact was made in Dubai, a couple of weeks ago (after wasting 3 months)

  • Cricinfouser on September 30, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    @satishchandar - The ICC usually generates a surplus from staging the global tournaments and distributes this to the full members. It is a myth that running the ICC constitutes a net cost to the BCCI or any other national board.

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    Wolf appeared in lamb's skin,and expected everyone to believe that he is a lamb! The then CEO of ICC aggressively tried to sell those wares, the consequences of which, he is reaping now. In fact, Wolf was trying to play a Robinhood -- rob the rich to pay the poor. In modern day business logic, it just doesn't work, as the communist countries proved beyond any doubt. Open market competitive economy always rewards the most efficient firm which can make the BEST use of all factors of production.

    The days of Engels & Marx, and their magnum opus Das Kapital are over. Their dicta are buried for ever.We are squarely back to the Keynesian days. Or, if you wish to go much earlier into human history, these are Darwinian days; which facilitates the survival of the fittest, in every way. The inefficient ones can only gawk in envy.

    Earlier all concerned agree to this reality, better for every one. And, meaningless arguments will stop.

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    @wibblewibble: By your logic, it is too late for Australia and England now, is it? You don't make 80% of money for world cricket and get sidelined buddy, If ICC is ready to give 80% of money to India and share the rest 20% among others then why not, have all the "Woolf" report you want which in reality is a "wolf" report meant to favour certain nations who no longer have the financial might and will not even have that might for decades in future due to cricket's popularity and market-size in India.

  • ian on September 30, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    It's what happens on your watch, Mr Srinivasan! That's called taking responsibility of the conduct of the board & its members. The last watch was a bit of a doze, wan't it?

  • Tom on September 30, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    @satishchander: Your argument is bogus - "Australia and England behaved badly in the past and so it is fine now that India is behaving badly". It wasn't fine for England and Australia then, it's not fine now for India. At some point you will realise this, but by then it will be too late.

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    were these the parliament elections?

  • vas on September 30, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    @sugath, isn't the team india doing well, in all formats? It is among the top three. No 1 in ODIs. Odi squad was just announced. Yuvi is back. Let's watch cricket.

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