Sridhar resigns as BCCI cricket operations head

Sridhar had failed to disclose his ownership of clubs in the jurisdiction of the Hyderabad Cricket Association.

M. V. Sridhar was appointed in his BCCI role by N. Srinivasan.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Dr. M.V. Sridhar has resigned from the post of the the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) general manager – cricket operations following allegations of conflict of interest. Sridhar's resignation was accepted by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) during its meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Sportstar understands that Sridhar tendered his resignation last week and the CoA have agreed to release him on September 30, days before the domestic season kicks off. To discuss the revised structure of the cricket operations department, BCCI chief executive Rahul Johri will address the group in the BCCI headquarters on Friday.

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Sridhar, a domestic stalwart who scored heaps of runs for Hyderabad, had failed to disclose the facts about him owning clubs in the jurisdiction of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), his home turf. The disclosure was a part of an exercise undertaken by the CoA to start implementing the conflict of interest-related guidelines among BCCI employees.

That Sridhar, a former HCA secretary before being appointed in his role by former BCCI chief N. Srinivasan, did not disclose him owning six clubs was brought to the notice of the CoA by former HCA president and India off-spinner Arshad Ayub.

Besides the conflict of interest, Sridhar was also under the scanner by the Anti Corruption Bureau in Hyderabad for an alleged case of misappropriation of funds by the HCA.

Over the last year, Sridhar had been involved in multiple goof-ups on the operations front. Last year, despite the Asian Cricket Council clearly stating that the Asia Cup can feature only the players eligible for the 2018 U-19 World Cup, Sridhar's oversight resulted in the junior selectors picking ineligible players. It resulted in the selection committee being forced to re-convene as the error was noticed after Sridhar was forced to hand over the Under-19 and women's cricket charge to Ratnakar Shetty.

Last month, Sridhar excluded the Duleep Trophy from this season's domestic calendar despite the technical committee having decided to persist with the tournament with the pink ball. The move drew criticism from technical committee chairman Sourav Ganguly and eventually the CoA ordered Duleep Trophy to be included in the calendar.

Besides, the timing of the recent controversy of having appointed a trainer at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) who hadn't even appeared for the examination also haunted Sridhar. Sohum Desai, who assists India team trainer Shankar Basu at the latter's fitness centre in Bengaluru, was hired at the NCA on the basis of Sridhar's assurance that he had finished second in the exam. However, it later emerged that Desai hadn't even appeared for the exam.

Despite his recent erroneous record, Sridhar brought in a lot of changes to the BCCI's cricket operations wing since joining in October 2011. His administrative experience – having worked as vice-president, HRD in Satyam Technologies – and cricketing acumen brought a lot to the BCCI's table. After Sundar Raman's exit from the BCCI in November 2015, Sridhar emerged as a key member of BCCI's dealings with the ICC. In June, soon after the controversial resignation of head coach Anil Kumble, Sridhar was appointed the team's observer during India's limited overs series in the West Indies.

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and chief executive Rahul Johri thanked Sridhar “for his services” in a statement issued on Wednesday evening.

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