Meeting crucial to Srinivasan's future
The BCCI's working committee meeting today in Delhi will be crucial in determining whether N Srinivasan is restored to his office as board president or whether he will remain on the sidelines in the wake of his son-in-law's arrest in the IPL's betting and spot-fixing scandal.
The meeting, which will be preceded by an IPL governing council meeting, was originally supposed to have Srinivasan re-take control of the BCCI's affairs after the two-member independent probe panel cleared the owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, as well as Royals co-owner Raj Kundra, of any wrong doing with regards to betting and spot-fixing in IPL 2013. Srinivasan had announced his decision to attend his first working committee in two months.
However, two days after the working committee passed the former judges' report to the governing council, the Bombay High Court termed the probe panel "illegal and unconstitutional". The order was a setback not only for Srinivasan's return but also to the already diminished public image of the BCCI. Following the court's ruling some BCCI officials such as Niranjan Shah, who has managed to be on the right side of the power equation year after year, called for a fresh inquiry panel to be appointed.
However, as has been the case with BCCI politics over the years, it won't be surprising if the voices making their unhappiness public ahead of a crucial meeting end up being silent during the meeting.
Despite the court's ruling, Srinivasan reached New Delhi for the meeting and can resume office as BCCI president any time. However, a section of the board, including some staunch Srinivasan supporters, is of the opinion that his return as the face of the BCCI won't do its image any good.
If Srinivasan's supporters convince him not to preside over the meeting and only attend it as a Tamil Nadu Cricket Association representative, it will be a rare incident of a BCCI president attending but not chairing the meeting. In such a scenario, Jagmohan Dalmiya, who has been looking after the board's affairs for the last two months, will continue to preside over the meeting.
Another point of interest will be to see who chairs the IPL governing council meeting, which will recommend the future course of action to the working committee with regard to the probe report. After Rajiv Shukla's resignation as IPL chairman, the BCCI has not appointed his successor. While Dalmiya said last week that Shukla's resignation had not been accepted, according to the BCCI website Shukla had been replaced with Arun Jaitley, leader of the principal opposition in Indian politics, in the list of governing council members.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo