The Supreme Court will decide on Friday afternoon whether N. Srinivasan will be eligible to attend the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Annual General Meeting in Chennai on Sunday, September 29. The apex court will hear an application filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar seeking to stop a desperate Srinivasan from contesting the Board elections. The Bihar association is also seeking an interim injunction against Srinivasan that will prevent him from being a member of any BCCI committee.
Even if the BCCI unanimously banned former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi for life at a Special General Meeting in Chennai on Wednesday, it is by no way an indication that all is well in the Srinivasan camp. If the apex court rules in favour of the Bihar association on Friday, Srinivasan will have to find a new 'formula' to extend his stay as BCCI president. His two-year reign is coming to an end this month and as of now, Srinivasan is well poised to stretch his innings by another year.
In terms of numbers, Srinivasan is in pole position. He has already garnered the support of all six South Zone affiliates - Tamil Nadu (his home state), Karnataka, Kerala, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. Last week there were doubts over Andhra Pradesh and Goa's 'vote' but officials from both associations have been quoted in the media pledging their support to the Tamil Nadu strongman. (Watch: Srinivasan all set to become BCCI president again)
As per Board constitution, a presidential candidate wishing to contest an election must be nominated by two units from the incumbent's home association - South Zone in Srinivasan's case. But with Srinivasan ensuring that all six South associations are behind him, there will be no "proposer" or "seconder" to push for a contestant.
Although names of former president Shashank Manohar and Sharad Pawar have done the rounds as possible candidates to contest Srinivasan, nothing is official about it. Of course, the deadline for withdrawing nomination is 1130 hours on September 28 (Saturday) and once the Supreme Court verdict is known, equations could dramatically change.
The Srinivasan camp is, of course, making sure that most BCCI members who attended Wednesday's SGM are in high spirits. Several of them are enjoying an 'all expenses paid' holiday at the seaside resort of Mahabalipuram. While some have gone to the temple town of Tirupathi, a few have stayed back in Chennai. A couple of Board honchos like Jagmohan Dalmiya and Niranjan Shah (BCCI vice-president) returned to Kolkata and Rajkot, respectively after the SGM. (Related read)
There is talk that Dalmiya may continue as caretaker president till the IPL scandal case is disposed of by the Supreme Court and Srinivasan's name is cleared. Dalmiya, the Cricket Association of Bengal president, is set to be the next IPL chairman. BCCI insiders say this will be Dalmiya's 'gift' for running the BCCI on behalf of Srinivasan for the last four months. Interestingly, it was Srinivasan who was instrumental in ending Dalmiya's run as a BCCI chieftain in 2005.
In a BCCI where there are no permanent friends or enemies, 'experienced' Srinivasan will continue to walk a tightrope. Like a T20 humdinger, Srinivasan will remain on the tenterhooks till the last ball is bowled. And, he will not sleep easy on Thursday night as his legal team burns the midnight oil to tackle Bihar's high-profile lawyers in the court room. All eyes will be on the two-member bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik and Jagdish Singh Khehar, who could possibly land Srinivasan a knockout punch on Friday afternoon.