Srinivasan is a tough cookie

VIVEK BENDRE

If at all the detractors of N. Srinivasan were to admire him for one quality, it will be his resilience amidst adversity. He was put under pressure from all quarters to step down on account of the supposed culpability of his son-in-law but he did not relent, insisting that the members of the BCCI were not of the same view. His stand was vindicated at the AGM in Chennai wherein he was elected unanimously as the President for another year. Now that his position is clear, the time has come for his detractors to cop it and concede that he is the right man for the job. Then, of course, it will not be a walk in the park for not only his detractors will dissect his every move but there are a lot of other issues that need to be resolved. However, his remarkable tenacity in tiding over obstacles in every sphere of life will obviously stand him in good stead to sort matters out.

A lot of encouraging events took place during the week leading up to the AGM for N. Srinivasan with the CSK breezing into the semifinal of the CLT20. The popular team was required to put on a grand show in the CLT20 if only to prove that their performance in the IPL finals was an aberration in what has been a fantastic journey all along. Dhoni and his boys have regrouped and displayed collective form belying the fact that they were getting together after a long break. Their march into the semifinal will provide their fans enough hope that they will make up for their IPL loss. The re-election of N. Srinivasan would have been received with great cheer by the CSK team for he has handled them with interest and magnanimity.

The year 2013-14 season will be interesting and the BCCI will need to make some big decisions in certain areas. The framework of the IPL in terms of retention of players and enhanced security will take top priority given the aftermath of the last edition. The most unexpected development in the recent AGM has been the appointment of Ranjib Biswal as the IPL chairman. He has a huge challenge on his hands and it remains to be seen how he responds to it. The coming general election dates coinciding with the IPL window seems more a reality than a possibility and as such he will need to put on his thinking cap and hone his persuasive skills as well. He does have the advantage of the lessons learnt when the IPL was shifted abroad the last time around when elections were held in the country. He does have the political background but handling a lot of other business packages to the satisfaction of all the franchisees will be the key to the running of IPL successfully.

It was rather curious to see the withdrawl of Arun Jaitley from the scenario but obviously the paucity of time to don several roles must have brought about his decision. In a way he has perhaps done the right thing in not getting into a situation when it is best avoided. He was next in line to take from the incumbent President but it does seem that the most popular Vice-President has decided that his real focus is elsewhere.

Now that the elections are over and everyone is aware of where they are and what their responsibilities are, it is better that the elected office-bearers are allowed to get on with their job. The BCCI is a sport governing body and the members of the apex body will do well to allow it to remain what it is — a body to conduct cricket in India and not make it a turf for political tussles.