IPL scam: It’s N. Srinivasan’s call to decide on his future, says BCCI on SC ruling

By: | Published: January 23, 2015 7:15 AM

The BCCI top brass today remained tightlipped about the Board's future course of action after the Supreme Court...

The BCCI top brass today remained tightlipped about the Board’s future course of action after the Supreme Court’s barred its sidelined President N Srinivasan from contesting any election on grounds of conflict of interest.

Srinivasan’s company India Cements owns IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings and the Tamil Nadu strongman might now have to relinquish his stake and ownership in the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led popular franchise if he wants to retain his position of power as the president of BCCI.

While Srinivasan refused to speak to waiting mediapersons outside his house in Chennai, the other top BCCI officials also didn’t make any comments on the Supreme Court’s verdict.

However, the BCCI officials were quick to point out that “it will entirely be Srinivasan’s call on his future” as he will have to choose between BCCI and his franchise.

“Srinivasan will certainly discuss with his legal team and take a call. The SC has given its verdict and obviously there are a lot of implications involved with any decision that is taken right now. There are underlying layers in the judgement and one needs to study it thoroughly and come to a conclusion. But I can assure you the majority of BCCI is still with Srinivasan,” a senior office-bearer and Srinivasan loyalist told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

A key official of the East Zone unit interacted with Srinivasan’s closest aide Kashi Viswanathan and felt that the ICC chairman is not yet ready to throw in the towel.

“There is a feeling in the Srinivasan camp that the SC has laid its terms and conditions but it’s not that he can’t contest even if he relinquishes his ownership. But yes, one can’t just jump to any conclusion. We will be keeping a close watch on the proceedings. In case Srinivasan doesn’t contest, majority of the eastern units will then prop up Jagmohan Dalmiya as their presidential candidate,” the official said.

Another top BCCI official felt that Srinivasan could have avoided the situation had he allowed Jagmohan Dalmiya to contest or become full-time president till the legal proceedings were on.

With six weeks being the timeframe given by BCCI to conduct its AGM (and elections if necessary), all eyes will be on ‘Team Srinivasan’s’ next move.

The Supreme Court today barred Srinivasan from contesting any BCCI election on grounds of conflict of interest and set up a judges committee under a former Chief Justice of India to decide on the punishment in the IPL scam that can threaten the future of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Delivering its long-awaited verdict, the court held that the allegation of betting against Gurunath Meiyappan, a CSK team official and son in law of the BCCI President-in-exile and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra stands proved while the charge of cover up against Srinivasan “is not proved”.

Striking down rules that permitted BCCI office bearers to have a commercial interest by owning teams in the hugely-popular Indian Premier League and Champions League, a two-member bench of Justices T S Thakur and F M I Khalifulla, said, “Amendment in the BCCI rules allowing Srinivasan to own IPL team is bad as conflict of interest in cricket leads to great confusion.”

“No one who has commercial interest including N Srinivasan shall be eligible for any post in the BCCI and this disqualification on ground of commercial interest shall continue till such commercial interest will exist,” the bench said while asking BCCI to hold its AGM for electing office bearers within six weeks.

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