No shortage of support for Srinivasan

Yes, we are supporting him. The entire south zone is with him - Goa Cricket Association president Vinod Phadke

Chennai: Hours after the Supreme Court ruled that the BCCI AGM could go ahead but N Srinivasan could not resume discharging his duties as the president, there was still no shortage of support for the business tycoon.

In such a situation, where Sunday’s election could be rendered void if the court rules against Srinivasan on Monday, one would expect members to start contemplating putting up a candidate who can take immediate charge of the Board.

But, with the deadline for filing nominations for the posts of president, secretary and treasurer being set at 4pm on Saturday, there still seems to be no challenger in sight for Srinivasan.

On Wednesday, the 30-member BCCI had voted unanimously at a special general meeting to expel suspended IPL chairman Lalit Modi for being found “guilty of committing acts of serious misconduct and indiscipline”. Now, Srinivasan would like the members to show a similar support for him a second time in five days.

Why Srinivasan is desperate to hang on to power is something that even the judge hearing the case in the Supreme Court wondered. With the taint on his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings’ former team principal Gurunath Meiyappan growing, it is a real possibility that under clause 11.3 of the IPL franchise agreement, the India Cementsowned Super Kings could be terminated for bringing the game and the BCCI into disrepute.

It is understood that Srinivasan, the MD and CEO of India Cements, is very keen to save his beloved franchise, and for that, he has to remain in a position of power.

It is pertinent to note that, as per the BCCI constitution, the challenger has to be from the south zone. In fact, a challenger will have to have a proposer and seconder.

That means that if anyone aspires to challenge Srinivasan, he will have to get hold of three out of six members of the south zone and then hope to get more votes than the Tamil Nadu strongman in the house.

As of Friday evening, south zone members were claiming to be with Srinivasan.

Goa Cricket Association president Vinod Phadke, who had a few days ago pledged his support to the BCCI chief, reconfirmed it on Friday. “Yes, we are supporting him. The entire south zone is with him,” Phadke told Mail Today. But, going by the BCCI’s history of turbulent politics just prior to elections, nothing can be said for sure till the 4pm deadline for nominations on Saturday.

After Friday’s ruling, Srinivasan is free to appease the members, if he wants to, at Sunday’s AGM here.

Like his predecessors, Srinivasan can satisfy the various state associations (read officials) when different standing committees and sub-committees are constituted at the AGM. This is besides the income from the media rights that was distributed to the state associations at last year’s AGM — a cool 10.08 crore. In addition, it distributed another 12.86 crore per association, from the IPL franchise considerations collected.

With that kind of money on offer, no one would like to antagonise the powerful Srinivasan.

And this is not counting the infrastructure subsidy of up to 50 crore that an association can avail of. This infrastructure subsidy could go up to 75 crore at the AGM, as per indications.

Of course, state associations have the right to get all these benefits, irrespective of who heads the BCCI. But it’s also not prudent to annoy the incumbent for obvious reasons.

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