Not all in the BCCI want Srinivasan at the ICC

Lack of unanimity among full members to nominate the BCCI’s representative to the International Cricket Council (ICC) may have forced its office-bearers to adjourn Sunday’s Special General Meeting (SGM) in New Delhi to Wednesday.

N. Srinivasan, the former BCCI president and TNCA representative was not able to get everyone on his side.   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Lack of unanimity among full members to nominate the BCCI’s representative to the International Cricket Council (ICC) may have forced its office-bearers to adjourn Sunday’s Special General Meeting (SGM) in New Delhi to Wednesday.

According to a number of full member representatives who were part of the SGM, N. Srinivasan — the former BCCI president and TNCA representative — was not able to get everyone on his side with a large group willing to back former India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly for the post of BCCI’s ICC board director.

The official reason told to the BCCI members, though, was that the Supreme Court would respond on Monday to the third Status Report submitted by the Committee of Administrators (CoA).

Since the Supreme Court removed Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke as president and secretary respectively of the BCCI, a majority of the full members gave indications that they were looking up to Srinivasan to take a leadership role in the fight against the implementation of Justice Lodha Committee’s reforms.

After Thakur’s removal, CoA’s Vikram Limaye attended the ICC board meeting and Amitabh Chaudhary, went to the ICC Chief Executives Committee meeting in the first week of February. But the Supreme Court named them only for the ICC’s first quarterly meeting of 2017.

Given permission by the CoA to go ahead with the SGM, the understanding was that the full members will, by a unanimous vote, choose Srinivasan as BCCI’s nominee to the ICC. But as things began to unfold in New Delhi on Saturday, a determined effort was undertaken to find a candidate to oppose Srinivasan.

The numbers gained strength by the hour and Ganguly emerged as a possible candidate. Members also heard the name of Abhay Apte, Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president, doing the rounds.

An official said that a former BCCI president even floated the name of Avishek Dalmiya, CAB honorary joint secretary, for the post; Dalmiya is considered to be close to Thakur. Sources revealed that this confusion was thrashed out in a meeting between Ganguly, Apte and Dalmiya.

While some of Srinivasan’s friends believed that he alone was capable of turning things around at the ICC, especially getting India’s share of the ICC revenues as per its resolution passed in 2014, the group that is backing Ganguly strongly feels that Srinivasan stands disqualified by the Supreme Court order on three counts — nine years at the BCCI, more than nine years at the TNCA and that he is over 70 years in age, all validated by the Supreme Court.

The group backing Ganguly also believes that if Srinivasan is eligible, then why not Sharad Pawar, who was elected the BCCI’s alternative director to the ICC Board and continues to be so.

The Supreme Court hearing will clear a lot of issues that the CoA is seeking. The former BCCI officials believe that the age cap of 70 is applicable only for office-bearers and that’s the reason Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah attended the SGM.

The CoA has roped in former central minister P. Chidambaram to appear for it on Monday.