Chennai: Unruffled by criticism and adverse observations of the Supreme Court, a defiant N Srinivasan is all set to be elected unopposed as BCCI President for a third year even as two vice-Presidents were on Saturday unceremoniously dumped ahead of the Board's AGM here tomorrow.
Srinivasan was the lone Presidential candidate put forward by the South Zone, from where he got the proposer and the seconder.
While Srinivasan's nomination was on expected lines, there was some interesting drama which unfolded during the nominations for the other posts.
Sudhir Dabir, vice President from the central zone and his west zone colleague Niranjan Shah were removed from their positions even though both were eligible for extension. MCA president Ravi Savant replaced Shah from west zone, while senior Congress leader and union minister Rajiv Shukla took Dabir's position from the central zone.
Another political heavyweight, Arun Jaitley, relinquished the vice-President's position due to his political commitments and was replaced by his Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) colleague Sneh Bansal.
While Dabir is considered close to former BCCI chief and Srinivasan's adversary Shashank Manohar, Shah is perceived to be a confidante of another former Board head Sharad Pawar, someone who harbours the ambition to upset Srinivasan's applecart.
Haryana Cricket Association chief Anirudh Chaudhary has been nominated for the post of Treasurer, which was to become vacant after Savant is formally made vice-President tomorrow.
"I don't want to politicise the whole issue by making any comments. Whatever you have heard is true," Dabir told PTI when asked whether he has been dropped.
Cricket Association of Bengal veteran Chitrak Mitra and HCA president and former India off-spinner Shivlal Yadav were game with a year's extension.
But the spotlight tomorrow would be firmly on Srinivasan, who can only resume his duties once the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the case filed against his candidature by the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma.
There is a possibility that Srinivasan might again have to appoint Jagmohan Dalmiya as the working head of the Board but it is unlikely that the president-in-exile will give any additional powers, including signing authorities, to the shrewd Kolkatan.
In that case, Sanjay Patel, who will now become the permanent secretary, will have to sign all the necessary documents till the apex court allows Srinivasan to resume charge.
Despite the Supreme Court making some serious observations like how he has continued being the president despite his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan being charge-sheeted by Mumbai Police in the IPL betting scandal, Srinivasan and his confidants have gone ahead with their plan of retaining power.
While the Goa Cricket Association and the Andhra Cricket Association were initially reluctant to support the Tamil Nadu strongman but the 'Cement Baron' from south and his trusted aides used their persuasive skills to perfection to get them on board.
All the six southern associations (Tamil Nadu CA, Andhra CA, Karnataka State CA, Kerala CA, Hyderabad CA and GOA CA) stood firmly behind Srinivasan, ruling out the possibility of any contest.
Also the fact that none of the influential voices in the BCCI, including some of the political luminaries, took a stand, made it a tad too easy for him.
Most of the state associations, who get a lot of sops in the form of annual grants as well as international matches, have no voice whatsoever and would toe the 'Srinivasan-Line'.
His ability to keep the members happy has also gone strongly in favour of Srinivasan. A two-day pleasure trip to a plush resort in Mahabalipuram and a lavish party thrown at a five-star facility in the city yesterday night were testimony to the amount of confidence he has in his members.
"Look the apex court's observation never stated that Srinivasan can't contest the elections. That's why he is contesting. There were talks of Shashank Manohar contesting the elections. He (Manohar) is an honest man but did he come out in the open and express his opinion?" a senior office bearer of a state association, who is in Chennai, told PTI.
"We only heard from sources not from Manohar that he is willing. Why should we put our necks in line when we don't even know that whether he will go all out? You can't blame Andhra CA and Goa CA for changing their stance.
"It's a case of survival for every association and no one wants to lose out on the perks by standing on the wrong side of the fence," he added.
There will be a few key decisions that will be taken at the AGM including who will be the chairman of the cash-rich but controversy-ridden Indian Premier League.
While Jagmohan Dalmiya's name has been doing the rounds, the popular notion is that he is not getting any younger for a job that requires multi-city hopping week-after-week and lot of additional pressure handling the franchises and owners.
Savant had to be accommodated in the core team with a good designation as he has helped Srinivasan out in the crisis situation that emerged due to the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
"Savant was entrusted with a specific job of delaying the MCA elections so that Sharad Pawar doesn't stand in Mr Srinivasan's way.
"He managed that effectively by delaying the MCA elections to the third week of October. Now although he was never Srinivasan's first choice as treasurer, he had to be rewarded for helping the Chennai strongman," a BCCI official informed.