CAB to push for Srinivasan's exclusion from ICC
The Cricket Association of Bihar, the petitioner in the ongoing Supreme Court case against the BCCI, says it will seek a bar on N Srinivasan representing the board at the ICC, and will even look at taking the legal fight on that front outside India. The case next comes up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
At the ICC, which has officially not registered any protest or public discussion on Srinivasan's latest problem, one Full Member board official said the CAB's plan "must be music to the ears" of his colleagues on other boards. The ICC and the other nine Full Members - who have deemed it an internal matter of the BCCI - are essentially looking to the Supreme Court for a direction on the issue of Srinivasan being the Indian representative at ICC board meetings.
The Supreme Court has so far held that Srinivasan "cannot come back as BCCI president" until the completion of an investigation into the alleged betting and spot-fixing scandals in the IPL. However, Srinivasan attended the ICC meeting on April 9 and 10, and is set to become the new chairman in July.
In its hearing last Tuesday, the Supreme Court had asked Justice Mukul Mudgal - who carried out the initial report which led to Srinivasan being ordered to stand down from BCCI duties - to take on a more empowered investigation because the probe panel proposed by the BCCI was mired in conflict of interest. This Tuesday, the court is likely to hear from the Mudgal panel about the terms of reference and nature of assistance needed in carrying on with the probe.
With the court due to go into its vacation break on May 11, the petitioners are likely to plead with greater urgency for Srinivasan's exclusion from the ICC.
Aditya Verma, secretary of the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar, said he was confident the court would be sympathetic to their plea. "This is a clear-cut technical issue. If you have been barred from the BCCI, how can you go to the ICC? The BCCI is a member body of the ICC, and you are representing BCCI only, aren't you?"
The court could, however, take the view that the ICC is an international body and doesn't fall under its jurisdiction, or even point to the absence of any protest from the ICC or any of its members against Srinivasan.
"The same happened with the BCCI," Verma said. "The BCCI members didn't stand up to Srinivasan. Similarly, if the ICC doesn't stand up, and if it doesn't fall under our court's jurisdiction, we won't shy away from going and fighting it out in Dubai, where the ICC is based."
Earlier this week, Nalini Chidambaram, one of the plaintiff's counsel, had told ESPNcricinfo that they had already made a prayer against Srinivasan's ICC role and she compared Srinivasan's insistence on being part of the ICC to "a man who is not fit to be a High Court judge but he wants to be a Supreme Court judge".
It is understood that at ICC's latest executive board meeting held in Dubai on April 9-10, some of the board directors had raised concerns - more murmurs than vocal objections - against Srinivasan's presence. However Srinivasan is believed to have responded saying it was a few disgruntled people trying to haul him up. His message, the member board official said, was passed via the chairman of another board, who was responding to the few questions that were raised.
Srinivasan's detractors say he is in direct violation of Rule 2.1 of the ICC's Code of Ethics which states: "Each Director shall act in an honest and ethical manner. In order to facilitate the transparent operation of the ICC, conduct that gives the appearance of impropriety will also be unacceptable. Directors shall not engage in any conduct that in any way denigrates the ICC or harms its public image. No funds or assets of the ICC may be used for any unlawful purpose, and no Director may engage in unlawful conduct."
According to the member board official, the ICC Code of ethic says "each of the directors have a positive obligation" to challenge Srinivasan. According to Rule 8. 3 in the ICC's Code of Ethics: "Each Director has the obligation not only to abide by the Code of Ethics, but also to report violations of the Code of Ethics when they become aware of them."
Sidharth Monga and Nagraj Gollapudi are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo