Shukla quits IPL before BCCI emergency meet on Srinivasan

New Delhi, June 1 (IANS) Hours after the Indian cricket board called an emergency meeting of its working committee Sunday to decide the fate of its chief, N. Srinivasan, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla quit, citing the controversy surrounding the Twenty20 tournament.

Shukla's decision Saturday evening was on expected lines after he had expressed his unwillingness to continue in the next season following the IPL spot fixing controversy that has hit the sixth edition of the cash-rich league. Shukla was unavailable for comment.

His resignation came after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) called an emergency meeting in Chennai to decide Srinivasan's fate in the wake of the alleged spot fixing in the IPL. Pressure to resign is mounting on Srinivasan, whose son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested by Mumbai Police May 24 for his alleged involvement in spot fixing.

BCCI joint secretary Anurag Thakur said: "An emergent meeting of the working committee of the BCCI will be held at 2.30 p.m. Sunday in Chennai. All the issues will be discussed during this meeting."

The indications are that Srinivasan will be forced to quit, but the board chief is digging his heels in and laying down conditions.

In the last 24 hours, the pressure on him to quit rose with the resignation of two of his senior colleagues, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke, citing moral grounds.

Srinivasan apparently set two important conditions for him to quit: one, to make his nominees secretary and treasurer in place of Jagdale and Shirke, and second, that he be allowed to represent the BCCI at the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Srinivasan's dwindling supporters are saying that he be asked to step aside till the inquiry into the scandal is complete, but that is unacceptable for a majority of members.

Things have got difficult for Srinivasan to continue as the board's vice-presidents made it clear either he goes or they go by Sunday.

Niranjan Shah, BCCI vice president (west zone), said that the crisis was getting worse by the day.

"It is regrettable and distressing that the situation is getting aggravated in increasingly disgraceful manner. The matter pertaining resignation of BCCI president Mr. Srinivasan should rather be a matter between himself and the rules and regulations of the board," Shah said in a statement.

In another development, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) floated the name of Jagmohan Dalmiya as BCCI's interim president in place of Srinivasan, though it said it would not mind if board vice president Arun Jaitley takes over.

CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey said that they were "opposed" to former BCCI presidents Sharad Pawar or Shashank Manohar taking over as interim chief.

"There is no alternative to Dalmiya to run the board transparently. This is the thinking of all BCCI units in East Zone," Dey said, claiming to speak on behalf of all East Zone associations.

"It was during Pawar's presidency when the deterioration started. Pawar, Manohar, Srinivasan, Lalit Modi had joined hands in 2005 to throw Dalmiya out of BCCI. Then, these people gave birth to IPL. They have brought Indian cricket to the verge of destruction by promoting the scam-ridden IPL," Dey told IANS.