With the Supreme Court putting off the hearing of the Board of Control for Cricket in India versus Cricket Association of Bihar Indian Premier League corruption case and N Srinivasan's return as BCCI president in jeopardy, Board members are mulling to invite former chief Shashank Manohar for a one-year stint as supremo. The 56-year-old Manohar had served as BCCI president from 2008 to 2011.
According to sources, Manohar's name may be discussed during BCCI's AGM in Chennai on September 29. A hard task master and a Sharad Pawar loyalist, Manohar had stayed clear of the recent IPL controversies. His name was apparently discussed as 'caretaker' president after Srinivasan stepped aside in June, but the prominent Nagpur lawyer showed little inclination to return to the BCCI. The caretaker position went to another former BCCI boss, Jagmohan Dalmiya.
The Supreme Court's decision to defer the BCCI case by at least two weeks has upset several calculations. Since he has filed a court affidavit saying that he will only return after the IPL controversy has been solved, Srinivasan's return to the BCCI hotseat in the AGM looks unlikely. It is also learnt that the special general meeting on September 25 may also be put off. This meeting was to discuss the life ban on former IPL boss Lalit Modi.
Srinivasan is completing his two-year term as BCCI president this month. He was planning to seek a year's extension during the Chennai AGM. Even if he is facing court battles, technically, Srinivasan can still seek re-election. Registered under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, the BCCI constitution only bars a convicted member from discharging his honorary duties.
With the Supreme Court in no hurry to hear the BCCI versus Bihar case, Srinivasan is increasingly on a slippery wicket. He has apparently lost a lot of support from "neutral" members and it will not be surprising if someone challenges him for the president's post at the AGM. Manohar, could therefore, be a compromise candidate.
Tamil Nadu strongman Srinivasan has two weeks to get the numbers in his favour. To expel Modi, 21 votes will be enough in a house of 31 votes. The BCCI has 27 full members, National Cricket Club in Kolkata, Cricket Club of India in Mumbai, All-India Universities and the president's vote. To hang on as BCCI president, Srinivasan will need 16.