Srinivasan asked to sign his own death warrant!

  • Supreme Court tightens the noose
  • Cricket boss asked to choose between CSK, BCCI
  • Might opt for the Board for the sake of power
  • Difficult decision for the cricket colossus

(K Kaushik)

New Delhi, December 9: The colossus of Indian cricket was asked to choose between devil and deep sea. He was also told indirectly by Supreme Court of India that if he refuses to jump he will be pushed. The topic of discussion in cricketing circles is whether or not N Srinivasan, chairman of India Cement, owner of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the contestant to the position of president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would keep the IPL’s most coveted team or sacrifice it for the sake of power that the BCCI entails.

To make matters more complicated, the bête noire of Srinivasan, former BCCI chairman Lalit Modi spoke to ‘Times Now’ from Bangkok and challenged Srinivasan to come for a face-to-face debate with Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the channel, as a moderator. Modi revealed that he has been in touch with Sarad Pawar and Shashank Manohar who could make Srinivasan’s life more miserable. In cricket board politics, Modi and Srinivasan were pitched against each other and Modi had to step down from the top position in the BCCI.

The apex court on Tuesday made it clear to N Srinivasan that he should choose between the CSK and the BCCI and he cannot have both. In the interest of cricket in India, as it were, the apex court has directed Srinivasan that he cannot remain owner of an IPL team and also become president of the BCCI.

The Supreme Court had taken the conflict-of-interest theory to its logical conclusion and told Srinivasan to select his option. The arguments of the aggressive lawyers representing Srinivasan did not convince the court. They argued in vain that Srinivasan cannot be indicted of any irregularity or violation of rule. The court stopped short of passing an order but it was clear that the BCCI has to clear up its act once for all.

Srinivasan has to make a choice. He might choose to contest for the post of BCCI president to remain at the helm for three years for its sheer power. Otherwise, he has to be content with the ownership of an IPL team, CSK, which is IPL’s most successful and prestigious franchise. If he becomes BCCI president, he can control the cricket not only in India but also across the world since he would also be the chairman of ICC. But without being the president of the BCCI and with only the ownership of a team, he would be like any other owner of an IPL team bereft of the immense power the BCCI gives and taking orders from the BCCI. He will have to forgo the chairmanship of ICC also. Most probably he would choose to get re-elected as president of the BCCI.

Giving up the team means getting distanced from Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is also a Vice President of India Cement company. Once the team is purchased by another owner, Dhoni would go with the team thus parting ways with the most controversial cricket boss. This would also result in tumbling of India Cement company’s fortunes in the share market. In any case, it is going to affect the reputation and fortunes of Srinivasan. It is for him to choose the option that results in less damage. As far as Indian cricket is concerned, it is going to get better with the intervention of the apex court. The emphasis of the SC from the beginning of its hearing of the case has been that the prestige, purity and glory of cricket in India have to be restored. Let us hope it would happen.

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