Sriraman, the uncommon administrator with a common man’s heart

Former India captain K Srikkanth along with the family of the late S Sriraman have come forward to celebrate the birth centenary of the doyen of Indian cricket administration. The centennial celebrati

Published: 14th November 2017 02:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th November 2017 07:37 PM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose only

Express News Service

CHENNAI : Former India captain K Srikkanth along with the family of the late S Sriraman have come forward to celebrate the birth centenary of the doyen of Indian cricket administration. The centennial celebrations will be held on November 16, with the support of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. From humble beginnings, Sriraman went on to run TNCA with distinction for several decades in several capacities. From executive committee member at the then Madras Cricket Association when he was 16 in 1933, he went on to become BCCI president in 1985.

He served as TNCA secretary from 1954 to 1985. During his tenure as TNCA secretary, Sriraman shifted the cricket ground from Corporation Stadium (presently Nehru Stadium) to Chepauk. The story goes that he got the lease sanctioned by K Kamaraj, the then chief minister, who was his childhood friend. During his tenure as BCCI president India hosted the 1987 World Cup, the first one held outside England. As president, Sriraman was instrumental in winning TV rights after a long battle with the government. With his simple, mild manners and effective administration he earned the respect of players and officials all over the world. “You will not see another person like Sriraman.

He with his assistant secretary S Annodorai are the pillars of Tamil Nadu cricket. Mind you at that time there was no money in the game. What helped him be a good administrator was passion for the game. He did a lot for the development of the game and cricketers in Tamil Nadu,’’ said TA Sekar, who played for India when Sriraman was TNCA secretary. “Sriraman was instrumental in developing the club and league structure in the state, which has been widely acknowledged as the best in the country.

It was he who brought in MA Chidambaram, his employer, into cricket administration,’’ added Sekar. Sriraman had tremendous goodwill and was respected in the BCCI. “The BCCI those days was not what it is now. But Sriraman was very resourceful and did a lot for South Zone players. In 1983 he was to be the BCCI president, but politics ensured that NKP Salve became president.

He did not complain and quietly waited for his term. He was not into politics. He was the last common man to lead the BCCI,’’ praised Sekar. During Sriraman’s tenure as BCCI president, the selection committee headed by Chandu Borde dropped Sunil Gavaskar for the Australia ODI series in 1986. Borde said he was following the advice of the president and preparing a team for the 1987 World Cup.

Next day, the selectors and captain Kapil Dev were summoned to Chennai for an emergency meeting and Gavaskar was reinstated. At a press briefing on Monday, Sriraman’s son Keshav Sriraman said the organising committee of the function has requested the BCCI through the TNCA to conduct a tournament and institute an award in the memory of the late administrator. ashok.v@newindianexpress.com

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