Srinivasan chooses the easy way out

New Delhi, Aug 2: Board president Narayanaswami Srinivasan Friday met with some unexpected resistance from some of his colleagues in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), forcing him to abandon his plan to chair the working committee meeting.

Sources told IANS that what was demoralising for Srinivasan more than the Bombay High Court's adverse ruling that some of his known friends bluntly asked him to keep off the board till he is cleared, both morally and judicially.

It all started with senior vice president Arun Jaitley explaining to him at a lengthy meeting the legal implications if he tries to brazen out the Bombay High Court observations, which are in the nature of strictures, and by inference asking him to lie low till a legal remedy is found.

Even before the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council meeting started, Srinivasan had a lengthy meeting with Jaitley and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla.

BCCI meeting called off, Dalmiya to continue as interim chief

As a first step he appeared before the Governing Council to "recuse" himself from attending it. But it is learnt that even the IPL chairman along with at least five others gathered enough courage to tell him not to disregard the adverse court observation.

Some senior members of the board, including two vice-presidents Chitrak Mitra and Niranjan Shah, wanted another independent panel to be set up, but the proposal was shelved once it was realised that it would mean a wait of at least two to three months before Srinivasan could return to the board.

Instead, Srinivasan's legal hounds felt it was prudent to approach Supreme Court with a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging the Bombay High Court's ruling.

If the Supreme Court gives him relief, Srinivasan would be back within a week to consolidate his position in the board before the September Annual General Meeting, failing which it would be difficult for him to stage a comeback with Dalmiya presiding over the AGM.

The High Court Monday termed illegal the two-man panel, comprising Tamil Nadu High Court judges T. Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian, the IPL had set up to inquire into Srinivasan's son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings principal Gurunath Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra's alleged betting and spot fixing activities.

The panel had given a clean chit to both Meiyappan and Kundra thus paving the way for Srinivasn's return as BCCI president. Srinivasan had stepped aside in June after Meiyappan was arrested and gave the powers to interim chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.

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