Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Despite being out of the power equation within the BCCI, N. Srinivasan, also chairman of the ICC, will represent India at the ICC Executive Board meetings on Monday and Tuesday in Dubai.
On the face of it, cricket followers would be surprised to see Srinivasan attending those meetings as a BCCI nominee because the fact is that he holds no post within the world’s wealthiest cricket organisation.
The ICC Executive Board comprises of presidents/chairmen of the 10 Test-playing countries and three representatives of the ICC associate and affiliate member countries.
Going by that rule, new BCCI president Shashank Manohar should automatically be on the ICC Board. But the list of attendees of the ICC Board meetings, now posted on the ICC website, shows Srinivasan as the BCCI nominee.
So, don’t blame the people who might interpret this development as a result of some behind-the-scenes manoeuvring between Srinivasan and Manohar. They may also think Srinivasan might have bargained hard to continue as BCCI representative on the ICC Board in return for recently withdrawing the perjury case against BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur in the Supreme Court.
That is, however, not the case, pointed out a top BCCI official. He said that if Manohar was not going to the ICC it was only because the BCCI had passed a resolution at its March AGM, authorising Srinivasan to represent the BCCI at ICC meetings, “after an understanding” was reached prior to the AGM.
“That understanding was between late Dalmiya and Srinivasan, who said that he would not field a presidential candidate against him at the March AGM if he would be allowed to represent the BCCI at ICC meetings. Dalmiya had agreed for that. That was the biggest game plan before the AGM,” a source told
“How else can Srinivasan represent the BCCI and not its Board president, which was Dalmiya?”
The source explained: “Dalmiya might not have felt confident of becoming president. So, he wanted to play safe, and agreed to this understanding with Srinivasan. At the AGM, a resolution was passed that Srinivasan would attend ICC meetings and all the members signed on that.”
“Woh theek nahi hua; lekin ab toh ho gaya [that was a mistake, but what has happened has happened]. Srinivasan knew that he wouldn’t have a say in the BCCI after the changed scenario, so he wanted to continue in the ICC [as a BCCI rep]. But that will too end soon. Manohar will attend ICC meetings from next year and become its chairman, replacing Srinivasan.”
The source said that “the Board will have to pass another resolution to take that authority away from Srinivasan and give it to Manohar” to go to the ICC. He said that the resolution could be moved at the next AGM, expected to take place next month.
Srinivasan as ICC chairman has only about nine months left in his two-year tenure.
Thakur, too, had some time ago hinted that Srinivasan could be changed. “As per resolution in the AGM [in March], Mr Srinivasan will be BCCI’s representative at the ICC till September 2015. In September, we will have our AGM…where there would be discussions about what will be the way forward,” Thakur had said in April.
After the March AGM, Sharad Pawar, president of the Mumbai Cricket Association and a former ICC president, had said, “Srinivasan has been allowed to continue representing the BCCI at the ICC because we felt that we shouldn’t tarnish the image of the BCCI [by replacing him] and Indian cricket at the world stage.”
Interestingly, on the ICC website, BCCI is shown as the only country on the 16-member ICC Executive Board not to have nominated an ‘Alternative Director’ for this most powerful organ of the world body. In the list of ‘Alternate Director’, a TBC (To Be Confirmed) is shown against India.
The BCCI source also indicated that there could be several changes in the composition of the various ICC committees once Manohar takes over as ICC chairman.
The source pointed out that well-known lawyer PS Raman, who is considered close to Srinivasan and is a vice-president at the Srinivasan-headed Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, could also be replaced.
Raman is on two important ICC committees – the Code of Conduct Commission and the Disputes Resolution Committee.
The present set of ICC meetings – the last ones this year — began on Thursday at its Dubai headquarters.
The schedule of the meetings includes ICC Women’s Committee (Thursday), ICC Chief Executives’ Committee (Friday), Governance Committee, Development Committee (Saturday), Audit Committee, Executive Committee (Sunday), Finance & Commercial Affairs Committee (Monday), and ICC, IDI and IBC Board meetings (Monday and Tuesday).
The key issues on the agenda include: (1) the future structure and scheduling of bilateral cricket (in respect of which a joint session of the ICC Board and the CEC will be held); (2) the status of USACA and the ongoing activity to develop cricket in the USA; (3) the status of the implementation of the Integrity Working Party recommendations for combatting corruption in international and domestic cricket; (3) the status of the preparation for forthcoming ICC Events (including the 2016 World Twenty20); (4) the exploitation of the commercial rights for the ICC Events in the 2015-2023 cycle.