Make or Break on Judgement Day?

Though BCCI will press for Srinivasan’s reinstatement ahead of crucial AGM, Supreme Court may not pronounce final verdict in today’s hearing

Published: 24th November 2014 06:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th November 2014 09:12 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: The richest cricket board of the world will be looking forward to drama off the field on Monday, when the Supreme Court resumes hearing on the Mudgal Commission’s report on betting and spot-fixing in last year’s IPL.

If there is a verdict, it could be make or break for N Srinivasan, who has been accused of inaction despite being cleared of wrongdoings in preliminary revelations. A favourable outcome should extend his reign at the BCCI, which has been halted pending the hearing. Anything against the ICC chairman can change equations drastically and in that case, the BCCI may have to look for another president.

Judgement.jpgAlthough Srinivasan has appealed for clearance saying he hasn’t been found guilty, other elements in the Mudgal Commission report are connected with him. There is apparently evidence of Gurunath Meiyappan’s involvement in betting and his role at Chennai Super Kings can become a prickly issue for the boss of India Cements, which owns the IPL franchise. Team officials are also wary of their players being found among the 13 named in the probe report.

According to a former BCCI official belonging to the anti-Srinivasan faction, this verdict will determine the future of board politics. “Srini has played his cards well. Despite trouble, he has the numbers to become president. Only a judgment against him can change the situation. Finding a new president won’t be a problem if the court rules against the current regime,” he said, preferring anonymity.

IPL COO Sundar Raman and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra have also been named in the report. While Raman’s link with a bookie has been established, he hasn’t been implicated and enjoys the board’s support. Kundra faces a more serious charge of betting and if the BCCI has to take action against him or Royals, there will be calls to judge Gurunath and CSK by the same yardstick.

Meanwhile, the petitioners (Cricket Association of Bihar) would look to make life difficult for Srinivasan. Responding to the affidavit the latter had filed, CAB secretary Aditya Verma pointed out, “The Mudgal Commission wouldn’t charge him blindly. I’m sure they knew who was the president and when. Also, as they are bound to look into events pertaining only to the IPL, the infringement would have happened only in the IPL.”

They will also bring into notice Srinivasan’s contempt of court, as the exiled president attended the Asian Cricket Council meeting as the president of BCCI. “The court has already served notice for misdemeanor. This shows he has no respect for the apex court of the country,” he alleged.

The BCCI camp is confident the court will give the green light for Srinivasan’s return. He has cleared his side in the affidavit, which I hope the court takes seriously. The charges against him are flimsy and hence we would appeal to the respected judges to clear his name as early as possible. The AGM has been postponed twice and we will plead the court to clear the Srinivasan part so that we can hold it on December 17,” said a board functionary.

However, as top IPS official BB Mishra’s report on fixing and betting in IPL is to be made public, it is improbable the court would absolve Srinivasan immediately. If there is a verdict dragging him deeper into the matter, calls for another president will intensify.


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