Srinivasan's allies set for top BCCI posts
With N Srinivasan set to be re-elected as BCCI president on Sunday, a few of his allies are also likely to be given plum positions within the board.
Dr G Ganga Raju, the Andhra Cricket Association (ACA) secretary, is likely to be awarded the post of the BCCI's finance committee chairman at the annual general meeting. Raju, along with Goa Cricket Association (GCA) chief Vinod Phadke, had been contemplating defecting from the ruling group, led by N Srinivasan, to lend support to the Sharad Pawar group that was testing the waters from a distance to see whether Srinivasan could be challenged in the president's election.
However, once both the ACA and the GCA came over to Srinivasan's side, the possibility of an organised opposition to Srinivasan died down, since the BCCI rules require a challenger to be supported by at least two members from the incumbent's zone - south zone in Srinivasan's case.
As a result, Raju is likely to replace Jyotiraditya Scindia, a junior minister in India's federal government who was also a member of the disciplinary committee that conducted the enquiry against former IPL chairman Lalit Modi. Scindia was one of the first BCCI bigwigs to criticise Srinivasan following his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan's arrest in the IPL corruption scandal.
If appointed, Raju will join the long list of Srinivasan aides who are likely to hold key posts in the BCCI over the next year. ESPNcricinfo also understands that Sanjay Patel and Anirudh Chaudhary have been "handpicked" by Srinivasan for the post of secretary and treasurer, respectively, with the former having served as interim secretary over the past four months.
Even two of the vice-presidents who are likely to be replaced following an internal vote among their respective zones are from the anti-Srinivasan camp. Niranjan Shah, a Pawar confidant, and Sudhir Dabir, a Shashank Manohar loyalist who is considered to be close to Pawar, are likely to be replaced as vice-presidents from the west and central zones, respectively. Their likely replacements, Ravi Savant, who will enter the AGM as interim treasurer, and Rajiv Shukla, another junior minister in the federal government, are part of the Srinivasan lobby.
Arun Jaitley's decision to pull out as vice-president and recommend his Delhi & District Cricket Association colleague SP Bansal also raised a few eyebrows. While some BCCI insiders perceived Jaitley's decision as a "mark of protest" against Srinivasan's handling of affairs, a DDCA official clarified that Jaitley - who was considered to be Srinivasan's legal advisor during the recent tumult and is the leader of the opposition in the government - decided to step aside only because he "won't be able to spare time" for the BCCI in an election.
Ranjib Biswal, the president of the Orissa Cricket Association, and current BCCI interim head Jagmohan Dalmiya are prime contenders for heading the IPL committee. Heads of other key committees, including the marketing committee and National Cricket Academy board, have not been decided due to a lack of consensus among members. The decisions will now be taken during the meeting, scheduled to start at 11am.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) may emerge as the only BCCI unit not to be represented at the AGM. MCA had earlier nominated its president, Ajay Shirke, who had resigned as BCCI treasurer after criticising the manner in which the BCCI handled Meiyappan's arrest, to attend the AGM. However, since Shirke has been in the UK on business, the MCA had sent a letter seeking a replacement. However, the replacement application reached the BCCI office in Chennai at around 5.20pm, almost an hour and half after the 4pm deadline. "The house will decide whether to allow MCA to be represented once the meeting is convened," a BCCI official said.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo