April 22, 2015 1:31:25 am
The winds of change are blowing through the BCCI’s corridors of power, with all signs pointing towards N Srinivasan losing ground.
Already forced to surrender control over the board, the sidelined former president now looks set to lose his position as chairman of the ICC.
To make matters worse, it is learnt that a few members of the IPL governing council raised an alarm during their last meeting on Monday over the low valuation of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), a franchise owned by India Cements, headed by Srinivasan.
“Jyotiraditya Scindia, who was present as a special invitee, was the first to raise the issue. He insisted that it wasn’t possible for CSK to be valued at Rs 5 lakh when India Cements has been paying an annual franchise fee of Rs 40 crore to the BCCI,” said a source who attended the IPL meeting.
India Cements had decided to transfer CSK to a new subsidiary, Chennai Super Kings Ltd, after the Supreme Court cited conflict of interest and ordered that Srinivasan could contest the BCCI elections only if he gave up ownership of the franchise.
“In case of such a transfer, the franchise is levied a 5 per cent fee of the evaluation amount, and 5 per cent of Rs 5 lakh is pittance. The members voiced their dissent over this discrepancy,” the source said.
This though is only the latest among the many signs of Srinivasan’s stranglehold over the BCCI slipping and his authority starting to wane. It appears that Jagmohan Dalmiya and Anurag Thakur — who were elected the president and secretary of the BCCI recently — are slowly but systematically bringing in a new order.
They started off by ensuring that none of Srinivasan’s men found a place in any of the board’s committees, with preference given more to those who supported Thakur in the election.
And come September, Dalmiya and Thakur are likely to want a new face in the ICC. Sources said that they will nominate someone other than Srinivasan after the board’s AGM in five months’ time.
As per the ICC rules, the chairman’s tenure is for two years, and Srinivasan was nominated to the post last year by the previous BCCI regime. India can have its representative at the helm till 2016, and under normal circumstances Srinivasan could have continued till then. But a few days ago, Thakur said Srinivasan would remain the ICC chairman till September 2015, giving indication that change is on the cards.
It is learnt that Thakur, who is also a BJP MP, has also informed Arun Jaitley about the change in nomination for the ICC post. Even BJP president Amit Shah is believed to be in the loop.
“Srinivasan will be BCCI’s representative as ICC chairman till September 2015. In September, we will have our Annual General Meeting (AGM) as per schedule where there would be discussions about the way forward for us. After the last AGM, many members were of the opinion that certain committees need to have continuity. So it was decided to continue with Srinivasan as ICC chairman,” Anurag Thakur told The Indian Express.
Former BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel and ex-IPL chairman Ranjeeb Biswal, who were Srinivasan’s two close associates, have been completely sidelined from the board by the new regime.
At the same time, Niranjan Shah — who was ignored by the earlier regime — has found a place in the powerful Marketing, and Tours & Fixtures committees.
BJP bigwigs, sources said, are upset with Srinivasan after he tried to strike a private deal with former BCCI and ICC chief Sharad Pawar during the elections last month. At the same time, a panel — led by retired Chief Justice of India RM Lodha — is probing the IPL spot-fixing scandal and is likely to recommend constitutional changes within the BCCI.
Last Friday, the panel requested the Supreme Court to further probe the IPL spot-fixing case and investigate the role of IPL CEO Sundar Raman.
Meanwhile, it’s not only those entrenched in the BCCI’s intriguing politics who are aware of Srinivasan’s slide. It’s apparent for anyone who walks past the BCCI Cricket Centre, located in the campus of the Wankhede Stadium these days. Till not so long ago, you’d find Srinivasan’s car occupying prime space in front, no matter what time of the day. Over the last few weeks, however, it has been parked anonymously, alongside the other cars at the back.
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