N. Srinivasan, Chennai Super Kings Await Supreme Court Decision on their Future in Indian Cricket
N. Srinivasan has been suspended as president of India Cricket Board (BCCI) till the investigation into corruption in IPL was over. Chennai Super Kings can face punishment because their team official Gurunath Meiyappan has been indicted for betting.
Monday's Supreme Court hearing of the inquiry report on corruption in Indian Premier League is pregnant with possibilities. Is it the end of Chennai Super Kings? Will Supreme Court pave the way for N. Srinivasan to return as president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)? That's the biggest question doing the rounds even as two IPL franchise owners and a COO reply to notices served on them by the top court. (Sundar Raman Denies Allegations)
Ever since court proceedings on corruption in IPL 2013 started in June last year, the petitioner (Aditya Verma of Cricket Association of Bihar) identified N. Srinivasan as his biggest nemesis. Verma is being backed by a powerful lobby that includes a heavyweight politician and former cricket administrator. Verma says the justice will prevail no matter what BCCI lawyers have to say.(N. Srinivasan Tells Supreme Court to Reinstate him as BCCI President, Not to Cancel Chennai Super Kings)
It was a hectic week for its lawyers after BCCI decided to stand behind Srinivasan and IPL COO Sundar Raman after an emergency working committee meeting on November 18. Like the slog overs in a limited overs match, BCCI lawyers have done everything to ensure (i) the Tamil Nadu strongman is back in the BCCI hotseat and (ii) two-time champions Chennai Super Kings, a team owned by Srinivasan's India Cements, are not scrapped from the IPL.(N. Srinivasan acted against guilty player: BCCI tells Supreme Court)
On Friday, Srinivasan said there was "absolutely no reason for me to continue to stay away from my elected position in BCCI", and asked the court to pass an appropriate order. A Supreme Court decision on the contrary will be historic and a telling reflection on the dark side of IPL and the conflict of interest of team owners. Though they are not saying it openly, a few important BCCI members are expecting a 'shock' for the suspended Board chief.()
The special two-judge Supreme Court Bench, comprising Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice F.M.I Kalifullah, is examining the findings of the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel that included top lawyers, police officers, former Test captain Sourav Ganguly and national narcotics bureau deputy director B.B. Mishra. Portions of their 35-page report have been made public. While the names of four "non-playing" members mentioned in the report were revealed on November 17, the court may name "playing" members too. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, one of the four names, has been indicted for betting. (Verma Accuses Srinivasan)
Any Supreme Court order will have an immediate effect on who gets to run the BCCI, one of the richest sports association in world. Srinivasan seems to be on a good wicket to get elected again from East Zone, whose turn it is to propose the name of a president. Reports say he has secured the all-important six votes from the zone. As the first chairman of the ICC, it will be a loss of face for Srinivasan if he can't get to lead his own country's Board. The BCCI is known to behave like a "cozy club" and a favourable court is all that they need. (Panel Appointed to Probe IPL Scam)
Srinivasan has his rivals too. Right now, they may be fewer in number, but the fact that three former presidents could gang up and influence fence-sitters, the proverbial "many a slip between the cup and the lip" may come true for the Srinivasan camp. There still could be twists and turns with Sharad Pawar reportedly keen on another term as president and the name of vice-president and ex-IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla being heard as a 'long-shot' candidate. The BCCI AGM is scheduled on December 17. (Srinivasan Suspended as BCCI President)
More importantly, there is a stronger force lurking behind the scenes. It's the force of the BJP and the power of an influential minister and cricket administrator who is known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Politicians have always had a telling effect on BCCI elections and this time, it's not going to be any different. (Mudgal Panel Submits Final Report)
Modi was the president of Gujarat Cricket Association. Recently, he handed that position over to his trusted general Amit Shah, now a BCCI vice-president. Srinivasan's critics say the crisis in BCCI will certainly not skip Modi and Shah's attention. Will the government's "Swachh Bharat" campaign impact Indian cricket and its top brass? The Supreme Court is expected to set the ball rolling.