A shock return for N Srinivasan to the boardrooms of the ICC has been ruled out by India's Supreme Court.
In a ruling delivered on Monday in Delhi by a three-judge bench, the court ruled that Srinivasan, a former BCCI president and ICC chairman, cannot attend crucial ICC meetings next week as the Indian board's representative. Instead, the court directed the BCCI's acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and CEO Rahul Johri to attend the ICC's second round of quarterly meetings in Dubai between April 23-27.
Vikram Limaye, the Committee of Administrators member who attended the previous ICC meeting as BCCI representative, will not be attending this time.
The court had been asked by the CoA to clarify whether office bearers disqualified by the Lodha Committee's recommendations could return as representatives of state associations or the BCCI. The judges said, however, that they would not deliberate the broader eligibility issue for now, concentrating instead on the one-point agenda to determine who from the BCCI will be negotiating in Dubai.
"Mr Srinivasan cannot go," the court observed during the hearing. The three Justices - Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud - were clear that there was a "cloud" hanging over Srinivasan's integrity, which precluded him from being the right person to represent the BCCI.
The ruling should temporarily end a recent push by BCCI officials to bring Srinivasan back into the fold for the ICC meetings. It is an important week for world cricket as members are expected to move closer not only to deciding how to govern the game, but, significantly, how to divide its financial pie. The BCCI left the last board meeting in February unhappy with the new financial model that was presented, in which its share of ICC revenues was considerably reduced from the previous model created by the Big Three.
That Srinivasan was plotting a comeback was evident after he attended a special general body meeting (SGM) called by the BCCI, in which picking a representative for the ICC meetings was a main point on the agenda. That meeting, on April 9, was adjourned and will be held on April 18.
Srinivasan was ineligible on three counts: he is over 70 years of age, has completed nine years as an office-bearer both at the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and the BCCI, and is also yet to resign as TNCA president, thereby flouting the court judgement of July 2016, which had approved the Lodha Committee's recommendations.
According to acting BCCI president CK Khanna, the SGM was still scheduled for April 18, but he would consult the other two office bearers - Choudhury and the treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry - before taking a final decision.