Not long ago, this Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was baying for ex-president Narayanswami Srinivasan’s blood and the turmoil landed Indian cricket into courts, Supreme Court to be precise. But no longer! The board officials are learnt to have resorted to the Tamil Nadu strongman to wriggle them out of the hurdles they are facing in running the day-to-day affairs of the game.
“Yes, there have been efforts from BCCI members to fall back on Mr Srinivasan for his expertise in handling critical issues, when the board is facing back the wall following court battle and fresh trouble with the International Cricket Council (ICC),” a well-placed source within the BCCI told this writer. The source also informed that the two parties have already held joint parleys (not once) in Chennai to chalk out the plan of action for the coming months.
Not one, but handful in the circle are aware of the recent developments following the snub BCCI got from the world cricket body, headed by Shashank Manohar. While battling it out with Srinivasan for the IPL fiasco, the Only person the board fell back on is another former president, Manohar. Now, most of the members are of opinion that Manohar did let them down after he took over as the ICC chairman, prematurely replacing Srinivasan in November last year.
“Being a lawyer, he was the guiding force behind the board when Justice RM Lodha panel imposed regulations following betting and fixing scandals. But the moment he saw an opportunity to step up as ICC chairman, he ditched all of us. Moreover, with growing pressure to adopt Lodha panel recommendations, he is making the board’s job even more difficult by the ICC boss which has made more enemies than friend back in India,” another official said on the condition of anonymity.
Also, the camaraderie among the new BCCI dispensation and Srinivasan started once Manohar left for his greener pastures in Dubai and the members felt cheated. The incident brought the 71-year-old Tamil industrialist closer to the current crop of board mandarins. It is also learnt that the appointment of Retired Justice Markandey Katju as the head of the four-member panel to deal with Lodha panel before filing the review petition in the apex court was also done with Srinivasan’s concurrence.
As they say, politicians have strange bedfellows, and the fact that the BCCI is surely the most politicised sports organization in the country, it comes as no surprise that the ‘most hated man’ becomes the ‘most loved one’ in a matter of few months.
Way to go, BCCI!