CHENNAI: On a day the Supreme Court virtually ruined his ambitions of continuing as BCCI supremo, N Srinivasan was in Karnataka, at the Shankaracharya Sharada Peetham in Sringeri. Rivals rejoiced and started calculations. Not all, however, ruled out escape routes, no matter how slim they may appear.
“No one with commercial interest including N Srinivasan shall be eligible for any BCCI post and this disqualification shall continue till such commercial interest will exist,” the court said. It added election has to be held in six weeks but didn’t specify Srinivasan can’t contest if he dissociates himself from Chennai Super Kings.
Srinivasan’s detractors felt given the time, legal complications and possible mood in BCCI, a comeback by foresaking his franchise isn’t possible. “The team has to be resold and it’ll be difficult to find buyers for a tainted product, which has to wait for quantum of punishment. Then, it requires clearance from IPL authorities. The process will take time. Don’t think it’ll be possible in six weeks,” said a former member of the IPL governing council.
Then, there is the question of numbers. Till Thursday, Srinivasan had support of the majority, but there were dissidents, who felt undone when overlooked for positions or allocation of matches. “He was authoritative and used these as tools to rule and please. Any move to sell the team needs the working committee’s approval, after the IPL council proposes it. For all this, Srinivasan no more holds power. There won’t be backers,” felt the former official.
Surprisingly, former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke is among those thinking Srinivasan has a way out. “By selling the team immediately he can say he has surrendered his interest. Whether that’s possible is six weeks or not is not his fault. If the court allows him to contest elections after that, he can,” the representative of Maharashtra, who resigned when the scandal broke in 2013, told TNIE from London. Shirke added he remains in favour of fair administration and isn’t feeling vindicated after Thursday’s verdict.
Accepting that legal and other procedures will take time and make prompt handover of Chennai Super Kings difficult, someone important in the IPL governing council replied in the affirmative, when asked if this was a possibility worth exploring. “It can be done. Whether Srinivasan will do it is something only he can confirm,” he said.
Srinivasan is expected back in Chennai on Friday and it can only be guessed whether he’s contemplating another fight or anything else. “It’ll be very difficult, but detaching himself from CSK and functioning as administrator is something that can be considered. It’s a call he has to take after weighing all the options,” said someone in the loop.