N Srinivasan, the former President of the BCCI is of the opinion that he is being attacked because of the fact that the Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni plays for his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. This, he thinks, does not go well with his detractors and have made them jealous of him. As many Indian cricket fans who are aware of all the happenings in Indian cricket will know, Srinivasan has been under the pump of late due to the spot fixing issues surrounding the IPL. His son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, has been found to be involved in spot fixing and this has also dragged his name into the whole fiasco.
He has termed his recent criticism and allegations of supposed involvement in the IPL wrongdoings a savage one. Now, as a humble cricket fan in India, there are certain things that I shall like to point out. The first grouse that many people have with him is that he serves as one of the head honchos of the BCCI as well as India Cements that owns the Chennai Super Kings team. There is a certain thing called conflict of interest where you cannot be in a powerful position in two different set-ups that are linked to each other but it seems that he may have given such conventions a convenient pass.
Chennai Super Kings has also received some advantages, thanks to the influence exerted by Srinivasan in the BCCI. The most recent example of that was in 2013 when Sri Lankan players were unable to play in Chennai owing to the opposition of the ruling party. Many franchises suffered because of this and had demanded that the matches be moved out of Chennai but to no avail. During the 2010 Telengana riots however, this logic was not applied and Hyderabad was forced to play its “home” matches at Mumbai.
The fact that Sahara Pune Warriors had to go out of the IPL is because of the attitude of the BCCI administration. In his letter of withdrawal Subroto Roy, the owner of Sahara, had made it clear that they may not have withdrawn from the league had it been Shashank Manohar at the helm of affairs as he was sure that something may have worked out in the end. This speaks volumes about the present administration.
He also effected the removal of Mohinder Amarnath when the selector tried to remove MS Dhoni as the captain after the 8-0 loss away to England and Australia. Many may feel that was an inspired choice but then perhaps it is a sound business decision to have the Indian captain playing in your franchise – he has also made Dhoni one of the directors of his company. If I remember correctly he had also criticized the curator at Eden Gardens, Prabir Mukherjee, when he refused to make a turning wicket, as per Dhoni’s request, for the test against England during the series played last year.
Last, but not the least, the major question now would be why did he entrust a habitual offender like Gurunath, as has been reported in the media, with the responsibility of running the affairs of his franchise? Such an inexplicable decision is not expected from a person who owns a company like India Cements.
At the end of the day we are no one to judge Srinivasan but the least that can be said is that he needs to go a fair distance before he fulfills his potential as a cricket administrator and be respected by one and all – and, yes, Dhoni is not the only reason why people criticize him.