Srinivasan: ‘Vengsarkar’s baseless allegations pain me’

The former ICC and BCCI chief is ‘deeply hurt’ by Vengsarkar’s comments directed at him.

N. Srinivasan...“It is a pity that [Vengsarkar] is trying to cast aspersions on me.”   -  V. Ganesan

Former ICC and BCCI chief N. Srinivasan, who said he was “deeply hurt” by the comments directed at him by former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar, lashed out at the Mumbaikar here on Friday.

Responding to Vengsarkar’s remarks that he [Srinivasan] was instrumental in having him removed as the senior National selection panel chief in 2008 for picking Virat Kohli over S. Badrinath, Srinivasan said, “At the outset I deny this as completely false, motivated and without any basis in fact.”

He elaborated, “I would like to clarify that Vengsarkar, in 2008, was the vice-president of the Mumbai Cricket Association. This is an elected post. At the same time he was also the chairman of the men’s senior team selection committee.”

Srinivasan revealed it was decided at the Board working committee meeting in August, 2008, chaired by Sharad Pawar, that a member of the selection panel should not be an office-bearer of any of the member bodies of the BCCI. “It was also decided in that meeting that the selection committee members would be paid an annual fee. Pawar was the president and Niranjan Shah, the secretary, then,” Srinivasan said.

He noted, “At that time, Vengsarkar chose to continue as the vice-president of the Mumbai Cricket Association and hence could not be considered for a post in any of the panels when the reappointment of the selection committees came up in BCCI AGM of 2008.”

‘Unwarranted’

Srinivasan said, “Now, he [Vengsarkar] is trying to create some controversy by suggesting that I was behind his removal when I was only the treasurer of the BCCI. This is totally unwarranted and defies logic.”

He opined, “It is a pity that he is trying to cast aspersions on me. I find it unbecoming and highly unprofessional of a former selector to act in such a manner. I have no animosity towards Vengsarkar and he himself was a beneficiary of the benefit schemes initiated by me.”

The former Board chief said, “The allegation that one player was dropped in favour of another player who was selected for the Indian squad for the tour of Sri Lanka in 2008, which is the decision that allegedly led to [Vengsarkar’s] removal, is itself not even borne out by the events in 2008 as both the players ultimately represented India in the squad in Sri Lanka.”

Srinivasan said, “I respect Vengsarkar as a cricketer and did contribute Rs. One lakh, a princely sum in 1994, for his benefit. Later, the India Cements gave Rs. 10 lakh, at Vengsarkar’s request, to the Dadar Union for its renovation.”

He added, “We care for cricketers here and have done so much for the players, expecting nothing in return. This is why Vengsarkar’s baseless allegations pain me.”

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