Beleaguered N Srinivasan had been requested to step aside till the three-member panel probing match-fixing allegations in the Indian Premier League submits its report. Indian Premier League chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters in Delhi on Wednesday that during the period of the investigation, it has been suggested that Srinivasan stay away. Shukla was speaking after a meeting with Arun Jaitley, a BCCI vice-president and an influential member in the Board.
"He is an elected president and we have suggested that he should stay away till the probe is over. It is finally his decision to step aside or not but considering the image of the Board, Srinivasan can temporarily keep away from BCCI's activities," Shukla said. This is the first time, Shukla, a known Srinivasan ally has spoken out against the embattled BCCI president.
"Till the probe into the IPL controversy is completed, BCCI chief N Srinivasan should dissociate himself from the board." added Shukla. "The credibility of Board is supreme and the image of cricket in the country is important to us."
However Srinivasan, who is in Mumbai, continues to be defiant. He has apparently had meetings at the BCCI office for the entire morning on Wednesday with cricket officials, thus showing no signs stepping back.
On Tuesday, Jyotiraditya Scindia, a member of the BCCI disciplinary committee had told NDTV: "Let me say this that I am not assuming or saying that anyone is guilty. But considering the environment that is around cricket today, considering the fact that we do need to cleanse the sport in every single meaning of the word, I do believe that it would be in the fitness of things if Mr Srinivasan did step aside until this matter reached a conclusive end in terms of an inquiry."
Srinivasan is in hot water after Gurunath Meiyappan, his son-in-law and a member of the Chennai Super Kings team, was arrested for alleged links with match-fixers. Srinivasan's company India Cements are the owners of the Chennai team. The pressure on N Srinivasan seems to mounting even if the president remains adamant to cling on to his position.
"The final decision is his, but we are concerned about the image of the BCCI. We have appointed a committee consisting of two judges and the BCCI secretary (Sanjay Jagdale). The decision of the panel will be final and won't have to be ratified by the BCCI," said Shukla, adding "Board wants a fair probe and the guilty must be punished."
Scindia had said: "If he and his family members, or rather his son-in-law, is absolved then surely he can come back. But considering the environment that cricket is in today, I do think that if you combine the fact of a conflict of interest and his own family member being involved in an on-going investigation, it is in the fitness of things and more from a spirit point of view and propriety point of view, I do believe that he should step aside."