Srinivasan’s fate hangs in balance

What happens to N Srinivasan would be decided today (September 27, 2013) by the apex judicial body of India, the Supreme Court. Today the cricketing fraternity in India shall come to know whether the all powerful CSK chief shall be able to be a part of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the BCCI that is supposed to be organized on 29th September, 2013 and the decision is going to be a very important one for the people who want the hot seats of power in the Indian cricket administration. The Supreme Court will incidentally hear the plea made by the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), which has ceased to be an affiliated organization a long time back. The meeting is very crucial for Srinivasan as can be gauged from his eagerness to attend it.

The Cricket Association of Bihar is trying its level best to make sure that Srinivasan is unable to take part in the elections. In addition the non-recognized board is also making efforts to ensure that the Indian Cements supremo does not have the right to be a part of any committee under the auspices of BCCI by getting the Supreme Court to impose a ban on him in the interim. In case the highest judicial body in India does bar him one feels that Srinivasan will need to look for new ways to make sure that he can stay on to become the President.

He is presently on the cusp of completing his two year term by the end of September. However, it also seems likely that he may retain his post for another year or more given the support he has had from the southern cricket associations such as Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Goa. In my opinion and understanding, if he is allowed to contest the upcoming elections, Jagmohan Dalmiya will support him as well and that would mean that the entire eastern lobby shall support him too. So if he is not banned by the Supreme Court then there is a very good chance of Srinivasan retaining the position of Board President.

Now my question is why is the Cricket Association of Bihar doing this? After all, Srinivasan is not the first cricket administrator in India to have made the headlines for the wrong reasons and he will not be the last either. Is this only for justice and truth as is being stated in the media? Perhaps, not. My personal feeling is that the state body wishes to return to the mainstream of Indian cricket – at the moment Bihar does not even participate in the age group competitions like Chhattisgarh does and some states in the northeast do. My understanding is that if Srini is removed then there is a good chance that Shashank Manohar, who is likely to replace him, will be asked by the association for a return to the official competitions and thus be able to stop the talent drain of players heading to nearby states like Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh for opportunities.

Bihar once used to be a strong state in domestic cricket – one that had cricketers like Saba Karim, Subroto Bannerjee and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With the official status restored it would once again be able to return to the glory days and also stop the loss of talented and promising cricketers. That, in hindsight, won’t be such a bad thing after all but the question is why could they not ask Srinivasan? Is it a matter of relationship dynamics that we don’t understand or is there something in play? Is this a ploy of the Manohar faction to unsettle Srinivasan before the elections? There are way too many questions but not many answers after all.