CHENNAI: This scenario is strange, if not paradoxical. While the apex court of the country has debarred N Srinivasan from contesting the Board of Control for Cricket in India elections, he continues to remain the chairman of the International Cricket Council.
The consensus among his detractors is that he should relinquish the ICC top job on moral grounds. Former president AC Muthiah put it tersely, when he said on Friday that “he has to come out of the BCCI” and questioned “how he can head the ICC when he is not wanted in his own country?” Another ex-president Sharad Pawar also questioned the moral validity of Srinivasan remaining at the helm of the mother body.
But to expect him to renounce the post voluntarily on moral grounds is unlikely, more so after his determined fight to keep his BCCI post even at the peak of the IPL scandal. “Why should he?” shoots back a top BCCI official. “The court hasn’t made any observation as regard to him continuing as the ICC president. It’s an international body and has its own way of functioning. Let’s not mix the two. As of now, he is just ineligible to contest the BCCI polls,” he stressed.
More importantly, the sidelined boss can also argue that he was not elected as the ICC Chairman by the BCCI, but by a 52-member council.Hence, he not being the president of BCCI doesn’t automatically invalidate his chairmanship. “It was the ICC board’s decision and he became the chairman on his individual capacity, not as the BCCI president. So only if there is consensus among other ICC board members will he be asked to relinquish the post,” the official explained.
Moreover, given his clout in the ICC, it’s unlikely that he would be pressured to vacate his post. But the pro-Srinivasan equation in the ICC could change if his rival camp manages to wrestle back the power in the pending polls. “Naturally, if his opposition camp comes to power, they will put a lot of pressure on him. They will ensure that he will have to step down,” said a former Board functionary.
That means the Chennai strongman, even if disallowed to contest the polls, would still have a lot at stake in the elections. “He will have to see that his men come to power so that even if he is not directly involved in the decision making of the BCCI, he can still continue as the ICC chairman. So a lot depends on who comes to power in the polls,” he said.