N. Srinivasan, the suspended Board of Control for Cricket in India president, will 'represent' the Board in the two-day International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai starting Wednesday. Srinivasan has been sidelined by the Supreme Court in the wake of the match-fixing and betting scandal that hit the Indian Premier league last year. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a Chennai Super Kings team official, has been indicted for corruption.
On March 28, the Supreme Court appointed former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Shivlal Yadav as interim BCCI presidents till the IPL case was resolved. While Gavaskar was asked to handle IPL affairs, Yadav, a BCCI vice-president, was made in charge of non-IPL jobs. The top court also said no personnel involved with India Cements should be involved with BCCI's administration. Srinivasan is the Managing Director of India Cements, the owners of CSK.
ICC sources said Srinivasan will represent BCCI in the Board meeting. Whether he will finally 'sit' on the Board or will send a 'nominee' is still not clear. As per convention, the BCCI president attends ICC Executive Board meetings while the secretary (Sanjay Patel) is part of the Chief Executives' meeting.
According to legal experts, Srinivasan cannot represent BCCI at ICC. The international cricket players' association (FICA) too has objected to Srinivasan's presence. In a statement on April 4, the FICA said: "The Supreme Court has issued an interim order prohibiting any employees of India Cements Limited (other than players or commentators) from performing any duties for the BCCI. FICA understands that the order applies to Mr Srinivasan, as Managing Director of the company."
The statement added: "While we are pleased that Mr Srinivasan, at the behest of the Supreme Court, has agreed to step down from his duties as BCCI president, we are of the firm belief that he should not be exercising any functions on behalf of the ICC either, while any investigations concerning his conduct or that of his company are pending or unresolved," he said. FICA has been at loggerheads with Srinivasan ever since it was knocked out of the ICC Cricket Committee and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was inducted. Siva is an employee of India Cements.
The ICC has maintained a diplomatic silence. With Srinivasan set to take over as chairman come July, the ICC officials have chosen not to anger the embattled BCCI boss. It was at BCCI's behest that ICC has changed its style of governance and revenue share pattern. The ICC has its own code for officials. Clause 2.1 of ICC's code of ethics clearly states that "Directors shall not engage in any conduct that in any way denigrates the ICC or harms its public image."
Under clause 4.11 (F) of the ICC's constitution, an ICC director can be removed as a member of the Executive Board by notice given to him and executed by not less than two thirds of the members of the Executive Board on any one of the following grounds: (1) he is guilty of any dishonesty, gross misconduct or willful neglect of duty (whether by act or omission); or (2) in the reasonable opinion of the Executive Board, he commits (whether by act or omission) any act which brings or would tend to bring the Council into disrepute; or (3) he conducts himself in a manner materially adverse to the interests of the Council."
So far, no charges have been directly proved against Srinivasan. The Tamil Nadu strongman has always maintained that "he had done no wrong." NDTV.com's effort to get a clarity from BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel drew a blank. Messages went unanswered. It's clearly a very fuzzy situation.
Meanwhile, Aditya Verma, the Cricket Association of Bihar secretary, whose PIL led to Srinivasan's suspension from the BCCI, told NDTV.com: "It will be illegal if Srinivasan sits in the ICC Board meeting. If he does it, he will offend the Supreme Court bench. The consequences can be serious."