Chennai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to stick to its stand that N Srinivasan shouldn’t attend meetings for reasons arising out of conflict of interest might have surprised a few after Shashank Manohar hinted at truce shortly after taking charge. Inside the board, however, there are talks that this was on the cards.
Even though there are members who feel that to say “BCCI hasn’t withdrawn its application” after Srinivasan withdrew his perjury case against secretary Anurag Thakur amounts to breach of mutual trust, they might find themselves among the minority at the moment.
“Manohar spoke about bringing back unity and rising above individual equations, but that doesn’t mean we stop pursuing a case where legal experts feel we have a point. Following the Supreme Court’s order dated January 22, Srinivasan remains ineligible. By stating this, the board has done what it should have at the working committee meeting (adjourned in Kolkata on August 28),” a member of the group backing Manohar and Thakur told Express.
Considering that Srinivasan has not been on talking terms with Manohar or Thakur in recent times and the BCCI’s history of cornering dissidents, the bosses were not expected to extend an olive branch. However, Manohar’s speech on Sunday suggested that hatchets will be buried.
“There was a ray of hope that these things will be sorted out in what Manohar said. And Srinivasan kept his word by withdrawing the perjury case. Even though there was no deal, it was understood that the board would do likewise. That hasn’t happened and I’m sure board members have noticed this,” said sources sympathetic with the Chennai heavyweight.
It can be noted that after being approached by Manohar, BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry and vice-president TC Mathew withdrew their affidavits supporting Srinivasan against Thakur in the perjury case. “It looks as if Manohar wants to move ahead. Maybe Thakur thinks otherwise,” said a source, on condition of anonymity.
However, board members generally have a tendency to support the ruling faction in such cases and it’s no different in the Srinivasan issue. More drama is likely at the working committee meeting, whenever it’s held, because the court has also said Srinivasan is free to appeal if he isn’t allowed to attend.
“Our stand is clear and there’s no vindictiveness at work. In the past the court raised objections against him attending meetings and the Lodha Commission probe is still on. Unless the court clears him, his presence can put us in trouble. If this argument doesn’t convince him, maybe members have to discuss future steps at the AGM,” said another board veteran. There could be more on this.
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