Chennai: Despite a vast scandal that has ensnared Indian cricket and the arrest of his son-in-law, N Srinivasan, the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India or BCCI has not been made to resign. Instead, an emergency meeting of the organisation today proved Mr Srinivasan remains bullet-proof: a compromise allows him to "step aside" as BCCI chief till a probe into spot-fixing allegations in the recently-concluded edition of the Indian Premier League or IPL is completed. Till then, Jagmohan Dalmiya, a former BCCI President, will lead a four-member team that will run the BCCI.
Critics of Mr Srinivasan, including Punjab Cricket Association chief IS Bindra, described the decision as "worse than match-fixing."
After the nearly three-hour meeting in Chennai, Mr Srinivasan said that none of the members of the working committee asked for his resignation. He described his decision to temporarily give up his powers as an "extraordinarily fair step."
Not everyone agrees. Mr Bindra said, "He (Srinivasan) is just stepping aside for one month. This is taking the public for a ride. We needed something more than this."
Sources said that Mr Srinivasan was saved because of the support of "the Delhi gang" - Arun Jaitley who heads the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA), Anurag Thakur who is the honorary secretary of the BCCI, and Rajiv Shukla, who quit on Saturday as the Chairman of IPL, the massively popular domestic Twenty20 league. All three participated in today's discussion via video-conference from a five-star hotel in Delhi.
Nearly three weeks ago, the arrest of cricketer S Sreesanth and two other members of the Rajasthan Royals by the Mumbai Police on charges of spot-fixing shoved Indian cricket into what some have described as one of its severest crises. On May 24, Mr Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, was arrested for allegedly conspiring with bookies. He is the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings.
On Friday, BCCI Treasurer Ajay Shirke and Board Secretary Sanjay Jagdale quit their posts. The meeting today formally requested them to reconsider their decision, a prospect both have ruled out.
Mr Jagdale was one of the three members of a commission set up to investigate the charges against Mr Srinivasan's son-in-law. His replacement will be selected by Mr Dalmiya as the interim chief of the BCCI.