India news September 19, 2013

I'm standing for elections - Srinivasan


N Srinivasan has said he will stand for re-election as BCCI president at the Indian board's annual general meeting, to be held in Chennai on September 29. The announcement is not a surprise but his success, a foregone conclusion a few months ago, is now hostage to several legal and judicial issues that are beyond his control and may crystallise formal opposition to him.

Under BCCI rules, any presidential candidate has to be nominated by two associations from the incumbent's home zone - south zone in Srinivasan's case, and that is where the focus is shifting.

As Srinivasan left the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Thursday after attending a meeting of the board's marketing committee, he was asked if the other members from south zone were standing besides him. His response was succinct: "I am going to stand," he said, before taking a dig at the media for speculating on the numbers game in the event of an election.

While Srinivasan has made his candidature public, it cannot be ascertained at this point if the murmurs within the board opposing Srinivasan's stubbornness to hold on to the chair will turn into a credible organised lobby sufficient to match Srinivasan both in terms of stature and power. The early runner seems to be Shashank Manohar, Srinivasan's predecessor, a lawyer with a no-nonsense yet low-profile attitude.

Manohar hasn't yet made any concrete or public move towards returning to job he left in 2011 but it is believed that efforts are on to persuade him to contest against Srinivasan. One official privy to the developments told ESPNcricinfo that Manohar has shown interest but he is still gauging his support, especially from the south zone.

Manohar, who hails from the central zone, will need a proposer and a seconder from the south zone - most of whose members are staunch Srinivasan loyalists. It is believed that the anti-Srinivasan lobby - comprising senior politicians in New Delhi who are also part of the BCCI top brass - has been exerting political pressure on the Goa Cricket Association to shift its allegiance from Srinivasan.

The same lobby is also working on the Andhra Cricket Association to be the other member needed to set up a candidate. "Our stand is still undecided. We will discuss with our member units and then decide, since there is no hurry as such," an ACA official said on Thursday.

Both sides also have an eye on two important legal developments that could impact the election. One involves the IPL fixing case, in relation to which Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested in May. Mumbai Police is expected to file its chargesheet any day and the gravity of the charges against Meiyappan could play a part.

Srinivasan himself has already been chargesheeted - in his capacity as managing director of India Cements - in a corruption case involving a top political leader from Andhra Pradesh. If he is arrested in this case - and it is not impossible, given the high-level political machinations at work - then the board might agree to replace him as the BCCI president, even though the issue has nothing to do with cricket. "If that happens, we will have to find a new face," a Srinivasan confidant conceded.

It is these uncertainties that the Cricket Association of Bihar has sought to tap into through a public appeal to the BCCI members. The CAB - which is not a part of the BCCI - had filed the petition in Bombay High Court against the constitution of the IPL probe commission and on Tuesday made a "sincere appeal" to BCCI members to reject Srinivasan's candidature. "He continues to be in a 'step aside' situation as president," the appeal said. "The BCCI cannot afford to have a president who will be in a permanent state of 'step aside' and not be involved in its day-to-day affairs."

Despite all this, Srinivasan remains the most powerful person in the board and the man to beat in the elections. He has the support of many member associations but, as the BCCI AGM draws closer, the equation within the board could yet change dramatically.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 23, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Are not Kumble and Srinath from South? What are they waiting on? How come they have not challenged him? I would think Kumble would make a fine leader

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Facts are important. First, Mr. Gurunath was a principal of CSK till hurriedly his name was removed from social network when he was arrested. Where was the need if everything was ok. Secondly,The internal committee report appointed by BCCI of which Srinivasan is president has been rubbished by the Court, which means the guilty have not been absolved of the charges. That means status quo will remain until some thing happens to reverse the situation. Can President of an organization, decide all by himself what he does w/o other members approving of it, or the courts reversing their earlier decision. Arun Jaitley being a lawyer and very vocal should know but strangely he is quiet.

  • Dummy4 on September 21, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    Why all guys believing media and go against srinivasan?. He also done some gud things to Cricket.

    1) He bought kapil dev back into bcci fold ( Modi copied the idea from him) 2) He sanctioned 100 cr to former 160 players as one time benefit. (Did modi done that?) 3) He retained dhoni as a captain (Amarnath supported gambhir and kohli for captain . Just look at the tempermant unfit for captain)

  • vas on September 21, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    I don't think anyone can become BCCI president from outside. One has to be involved in local administration and work your way up. Kumble and Srinath are members of KSCA. They can hope to become BCCI president one day. Even Sarad Powar is trying to get into MCA. After the rule change in BCCI he can become president again. Playing cricket and administering cricket are two different skills. Most presidents are either successful businessmen or politicians.

  • Ashok on September 20, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    India should get away from the mentality of "hero worship". Most of the comments here seem to suggest that Mr. Srinivasan is the only suitable guy for the post. The same thing happened in keeping Dhoni as the Captain for all 3 formats, thereby eliminating all competition for grooming alternates, and may be better candidates. Thankfully, the Selectors have decided to groom Pujara & Kohli as the alternate candidates. I ask you why not elect one of the Charismatic retired Cricketers for the next President of BCCI ? Ganguly, Kumble & Dravid have shown that they are well qualified to progress from legendary Ex-Indian team Captains to the President of BCCI. In fact Dravid with his immensely gifted quality of oratory, will be an excellent candidate. A new BCCI President will bring fresh ideas & in case of Dravid, with his excellent inter personal interests, also bring diplomacy to the job + resolve conflicts if any, as presently existing with CSA. Think about it- WHY NOT?

  • Steve on September 20, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    I guess he wants to win election at any cost in an attempt to prove his innocence and re-establish his clout in the cricket circles in India. It is obvious that he needs Ind cricket to stay in limelight than vice versa. Wonder how Ind cricket system still flourishes despite people like him.

  • suresh on September 20, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    It seems to me, that to run an organization like BCCI, is not for everyone. First of all the person must be immensely motivated, have a lot of clout - political or otherwise and extremely, thick skinned. Though, we all like an honest and well meaning cricketer to come into the post of BCCI President, it's just not going to happen. It looks like Srinivasan is here to stay, whether we like it or not....sigh !

  • Dummy4 on September 20, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    Hope Srinivasan wins the election, BCCI needs a bold administrator like him in the present scenario where everyone is out to only make profit from India's cricket riches while at the same time they badmouth and try to get their own way whenever possible.

  • Sunil on September 20, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    Gee. There's a big surprise.

  • Android on September 20, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    No one is asking CSA to fire logart.But logart should mend his way and be appreciative of BCCI concerns.That does not seem to be happening.The latest statement of logart is that the issue will be dealt with after BCCI agm as if he is waiting for srini to be replaced.This atttitude shows that he does not want to initiate talk with the BCCI current admn.Whether or not srini deserves to be the BCCI chief is entirely another issue.