CHENNAI: Aditya Verma is relentless. After rocking the BCCI with appeals at Supreme Court with far-reaching consequences, the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary will request the court on Friday to appoint an observer for the board’s annual general meeting. He will also request that the March 2 meet be shifted to Mumbai.
While there are precedents of court-appointed retired judges supervising BCCI AGM and elections, what complicates matters this time is the uncertainty over the president. Till Wednesday, there was no clarity amid unconfirmed reports that aspirants were trying to hold talks with the BJP top brass. Sources felt Sharad Pawar is willing sans numbers (as of now) and N Srinivasan’s camp is still looking for an acceptable ‘dummy’.
As the rivals spent another day looking for answers, Verma said in New Delhi he would request the court to appoint Justice RM Lodha as observer. He found an ally in Congress leader Subodh Kant Sahai, president of the Cricket Association of Jharkhand that is not recognised by BCCI. The court has already appointed Lodha as head of a three-man committee to decide punishment for those guilty in the IPL spot-fixing and betting case.
On Friday, the court will hear Verma’s contempt petition accusing Srinivasan of violating its January 22 order that asked people with commercial interests in the BCCI to stay away from board activities. The Tamil Nadu heavyweight has already been castigated by the court for chairing the working committee meeting despite that. “He shouldn’t have participated in the meeting. We are not happy with it,” the bench said. While that rules Srinivasan out, there are still more questions than answers.
Probably for the first time in history, with so few days to go for the AGM, there is no panel of candidates from any side. Confusion clouds the posts of secretary, treasurer and joint secretary as well. Things might be brewing, but there are not even strong enough rumours.
“All are waiting to hear from BJP leaders. We’ve heard Pawar and Srinivasan both are meeting them. The ruling party will obviously have a say in what happens,” said a former office bearer. However, there was no confirmation on what transpired in these meetings. According to insiders, about 7-8 units are with Srinivasan, 10-12 can accept someone else. In that case, eight associations under BJP-led state governments become significant.
A BCCI veteran felt East Zone not supporting anybody openly has also stalled proceedings. It’s their turn to nominate president and so far, none of the six units have pledged support. Jagmohan Dalmiya is a key player there and sources in the region said he too is waiting to hear from BJP bosses.
ICC Post Not Debated at the Moment
Chennai: His reign in BCCI nearing an end following Supreme Court intervention, N Srinivasan’s post of ICC chairman has become subject of discussion. Will he retain the chair if he loses the one in BCCI? In the annual general meeting on March 2, the last item on agenda is ‘to appoint the board’s representative on the ICC’. According to a BCCI member who features in an important committee, Srinivasan is out of danger as of now, as far the ICC post is concerned. “He’s not the BCCI representative to ICC, but the elected chairman of the world body. Once elected, he will serve his term and attend ICC meetings as its head. The AGM will decide who represents BCCI,” he said.