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Srinivasan may quit to keep control

Amol Karhadkar and Nagraj Gollapudi

March 25, 2014

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'Court has come down with a sledgehammer'

Sometime in the next 24 hours, N Srinivasan is likely to resign as the BCCI president. That is the feeling among BCCI officials, who say his decision will be influenced by the possible alternative: the Supreme Court appointing an administrator of its own choice to run the board.

If and when Srinivasan does step down, the favourite to replace him is Shivlal Yadav, the former India offspinner and the BCCI's South Zone vice-president.

The precedent that the officials point to is 2004, when the Madras High Court appointed an interim administrator - Supreme Court Judge S Mohan - during the bitter battle for the president's post between Sharad Pawar and Jagmohan Dalmiya. A day after his appointment - a Saturday - Mohan was restrained from entering the BCCI office in Mumbai, and on Monday the Dalmiya group obtained a stay on his appointment from the Supreme Court. It was followed by a re-election, which delayed Pawar's entry into BCCI fold by another year.

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"We would like to avoid a situation like in 2004, so it is possible that the president might act accordingly in the best interest of Indian cricket," a BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. He said that any stubborn stand put up by Srinivasan could only backfire and hurt the BCCI, which could lose its autonomy if the court were to appoint an independent person as an interim president. Another senior board official said Srinivasan was too "intelligent" to take on the court. "Will he take the risk … especially after what happened in the case of the Sahara owner Subrata Roy earlier this month? [The Supreme Court ordered Roy to be arrested after he failed to attend court hearings, and Roy is still in custody pending bail.] I don't think so," the board official said. "Mr Srinivasan is too intelligent to defy the court's order."

It was a tumultuous Tuesday for Srinivasan as the two judges, Justices AK Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla, delivered blunt observations while hearing arguments in a special leave petition probing corruption in the 2013 IPL. The SLP was filed by Aditya Verma, secretary of Cricket Association of Bihar, a body the BCCI said it does not recognise. Verma had originally challenged the fact that Srinivasan continued to head the BCCI when the franchise he is owner of, Chennai Super Kings, had been involved in allegations of corruption during the 2013 IPL.

Though Srinivasan did not issue a public reaction, the fact that the BCCI was a rattled house became clear as soon the contents of the court hearing rolled out. Three of the five board vice-presidents- Ravi Savant (West), Yadav (South) and Chitrak Mitra (East) - voiced concern, admitting that Srinivasan's exit was imminent. "At this point, it's a Supreme Court observation. If the Court passes an order to that effect, then he will have to abide by that," Savant told ESPNcricinfo. "The Board won't be able to do anything about it. As of now, it's entirely up to him to decide whether to take cognisance of the observation or wait for the order."

According to Mitra it was a matter of time before Srinivasan had to resign. "The court is yet to pass the order. But it is now up to him (Srinivasan)," he said. "The court has asked him to step down. Otherwise it will pass an order. It is not good for the BCCI."

A former BCCI president said it would be prudent on the part of Srinivasan to make things simpler by not dragging the issue any further. "It has to be his personal decision," he said.

The court's observations seemed to have caught the BCCI off guard. While the treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary was overseas, secretary Sanjay Patel had to cancel his trip for an Asian Cricket Council meeting and dash to Chennai to meet Srinivasan and chalk out a plan for near future.

However, even by late evening on Tuesday, not many in the BCCI were aware of what is, or, should be, the next course of action. According to the Board's constitution, if Srinivasan does quit then an eligible candidate from the South Zone will need to replace him - making Yadav the frontrunner, with Andhra Cricket Association president D Subba Rao also in the frame. Some reports suggested Srinivasan had already sounded out Yadav to be prepared to take over as the interim president. Yadav had chaired a meeting of the BCCI working committee last February, when Srinivasan couldn't attend because of personal reasons.

"I am ready to accept any responsibility," Yadav said on Tuesday. "Once the apex court passes an order, nobody can challenge it. Still, I would say let us wait for two days [until the next hearing] and then we will have more clarity and we all can react to it in a better way."

According to the clause 15 (v) of BCCI's rules and regulations, "In case of vacancy occurring in the office of President by reason of death or by him being adjudged insolvent or by him being convicted in a criminal case by a competent Court or by resignation or otherwise, The Hon Secretary shall within fifteen days convene a Special General Body Meeting to elect the President who shall be nominated by at least one Full Member from the zone which proposed the name of the President whose term was cut short prematurely. Such person who is so elected shall hold office till the next elections."

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (March 26, 2014, 19:12 GMT)

It is a most welcome development and the SC should throw Mr.N out before he can do any further damage to the game.If only the courts had been a little more circumspect and forthright in matters involving societies like the B C C I,things could have been different.Better late than never.For heavens sake let us put a stop to this monarchy within a democracy be it cricket or any other society.The S C look at the deeper malaise and conduct a thorough investigation into the affairs of the Board and each and every official of the board and its affiliates while handing over the running of the game to a panel of eminent persons in the interim.i am sure there are several Mr.Ns in the making at various levels of the board who need to be put on notice.Given his recalcitrance Mr.N should not be afforded the opportunity to preach his injured innocence and should be thrown out ASAP. RAMKAM

Posted by Iceman29 on (March 26, 2014, 5:53 GMT)

Eventhough there is an overall satisfaction to some extent that Srinivasan is stepping down we got to admit that Srini has revolutionized the cricket administration eventhough Indian cricket has slumped through years during his tenure, he has brought in many changes to benefit other countries as well to get financially stable and also dictated terms in ICC where the situation was vice versa...The future BCCI president should not only look after Indian cricket but also have the responsibility to guide other countries and make them financially stable if required...Future BCCI president have more responsibility from now on...

Posted by rshan on (March 26, 2014, 4:45 GMT)

Cricinfo poll shows almost 90% in favor of Srinivasan to retire. This shows his unpopularity. He has brought this upon himself by his arrogant behavior. He thought he was high and mighty and his money could buy everything. This is indeed humiliating and a lesson to all that no one is above the law and no individual is greater than the game of cricket.

Posted by GreenGoat on (March 26, 2014, 4:28 GMT)

Huge respect for the Indian Supreme court, just wow!! All indians should be proud of their supreme court for being this unbaised and not fearing to take on powerful businessmen/politician. Respect from the Island nation, god bless ur judges...

Posted by   on (March 26, 2014, 4:16 GMT)

As from the honorable supreme court order, Mr. N. Srinivasan should obey it and resigned it right now and give his powers to members like Anil Kumble or some other south zone members, and if the case is comes out clean, srinivasan can continue it or if found guilty, he should quit all activities from BCCI. And other members from BCCI including gavaskar should resign and keep BCCI clean.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2014, 2:30 GMT)

I personally believe politicians should stay out of any sport. Why are politicians heading the board? It should be cricketers. Former cricketers who have played for India for a longer time should make up the board. Not politicians. A doctor should have a medical background. An engineer should have an engineering background. A BCCI officials should have a cricketing background ( in India's case, playing for India and performing in the team for a length of time). Your records and years of experience playing cricket would be your qualifications.

Posted by A.Sarkar17 on (March 26, 2014, 2:08 GMT)

Those mindlessly backing BCCI should understand that Indian success in world cricket is not because but in spite of administrators. With a country of a billion people passionate about cricket and so much talent present, our 5th 11 should also be world class. This does not happen because of continuing lobbying, favoritism, ignoring good domestic performances year after year which disheartens many upcoming talents, gross financial impropriety - the list of bungling goes on and on. There is urgent need to replace the entire set of politicians and businessmen and bring in a transparent and professional administration at the helm of cricket. a simple replacement of one power broker will not be sufficient.

Posted by ruester on (March 25, 2014, 23:05 GMT)

The whole world of cricket will breathe a sigh of relief when he goes, I pray that he does not have the front to take up the ICC post. I'm sure he will though, unfortunately. I'm sure the ECB and CA chairmen are not looking so smug now as their best friend is in so much self inflicted trouble. Finally a good day for cricket lovers.

Posted by seo7seo on (March 25, 2014, 20:08 GMT)

A sudden rise of Mr. Sirinavasin in the world of cricket raises doubts in many minds. Instead of Rahul Dravid, Gavaskar or some other cricketing brain trying to rule over cricket and cricketers around the globe, it was an industrialist who could only think of money.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2014, 15:11 GMT)

shame on Indian cricket .. i applaud Indian supreme court for passing such a unbiased judgement. i hope the complete truth comes out. it take courage and determination to pass such judgement. He should have stepped down ages before.

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