The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has made it clear that any attempted move by the BCCI office bearers and state associations to bring former board president N Srinivasan back into the fold would need the approval of the Supreme Court.
The office bearers want to nominate Srinivasan as the BCCI representative for the crucial ICC Board meetings later this month in Dubai. A final decision is likely to be taken at the board's special general body meeting (SGM) on April 9 in Delhi.
Although Srinivasan has not made his thoughts public, he met the three existing BCCI office bearers in Hyderabad on Wednesday. This was just before the three men - Amitabh Choudhary (acting secretary), Anirudh Chaudhry (treasurer) and CK Khanna (acting president) - were headed to meet the CoA, led by Vinod Rai and Vikram Limaye. It is understood that Rai, the CoA chairman, told the three office bearers that members attending the SGM or any ICC meeting would need to comply with the eligibility criteria approved by the Supreme Court.
Srinivasan fails the eligibility test on three main fronts. He is past the age cap of 70 years. He has also completed nine years as an office bearer both at the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and the BCCI, which disqualifies him automatically. Srinivasan is also yet to resign as the president of the TNCA, thereby flouting the court judgement of July 2016, which had approved the Lodha Committee's recommendations.
However, in their meetings with the CoA, the office bearers pointed out that there were no restrictions on the states or BCCI appointing a representative to attend the ICC meetings.
The CoA, on Thursday, said it would seek the court's approval, but asked the BCCI members to adhere to the court order. "Members may kindly note that the Committee of Administrators has decided to seek appropriate directions from the Hon'ble Supreme Court on matters relating to eligibility for participating in any Special General Meeting or Annual General Meeting of the BCCI (both with reference to Members and their nominees/representatives) as well as eligibility for being appointed to represent the BCCI at the ICC.
"Members are requested to consider the above issues and ensure that attendance and decisions at any Special General Meeting or Annual General Meeting of the BCCI is in compliance with the orders passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court as well as all applicable norms, rules and regulations."
There have been murmurs in the past few weeks of Srinivasan making a return at the ICC Board, which was considered improbable after he was forced to step down as BCCI president by the Supreme Court in 2015.
In its meetings on April 26 and 27, the ICC Board is expected to deliberate, and probably vote, on the various resolutions concerning the governance structure and the revenue distribution model. Last month, the CoA sent an expansive e-mail to the ICC elaborating on its differences on the various resolutions.
Nonetheless, the BCCI office bearers and most state associations have been sceptical of the CoA's accommodating attitude towards the ICC Board. The CoA has stressed that the BCCI ought to engage and not confront the other member boards. However, the office bearers are adamant that the BCCI could not afford to loosen its grip and certainly not come down on its share derived from the ICC's broadcasting rights.
These office bearers and the other members of the BCCI have strongly objected to the reformist drive put in place by ICC chairman Shashank Manohar, who was the board president until last April. To take on Manohar, the office bearers felt a strong opposing voice was necessary.
Incidentally, in an order issued in February, the court had approved three names - Limaye, Choudhary and Chaudhry - who could attend the ICC meetings that took place couple of months ago. Choudhry attended the ICC chief executives committee meeting while Limaye sat in the Financial & Commercial Affairs as well as the ICC Board.