BCCI to hit back at Shashank Manohar for comments on Srinivasan?
In what appears to be a retaliatory move to silence its critics, the ruling group of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), according to sources, has decided to curtail financial grant to the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) and use the cash to bankroll legal expenses.
N Srinivasan (left) and Shashank Manohar. Pic/Getty Images
Vidarbha-based former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, it can be recalled, lashed out at exiled president N Srinivasan recently by saying, "the image of the Board is tarnished by the actions and the attitude of Mr Srinivasan. The gentleman's game, as the game of cricket has long been known, and the reputation of the Board is at its lowest due to the egoistic and autocratic behaviour of one individual.
The Board and the game of cricket is bigger than any individual and it is the responsibility and duty of every individual connected with the game to preserve the dignity and integrity of the game and the Board."
The move to deduct funds earmarked for VCA came towards the fag end of Tuesday's Working Committee meeting in Chennai where it is believed BCCI officials were urged to find out who was funding the legal expenses of Cricket Association of Bihar's (CAB) secretary Aditya Verma, who is fighting a protracted battle against the world's richest cricket board. Verma is being represented in the Supreme Court by a battery of lawyers led by Harish Salve.
As reported, the BCCI members supported Indian Premier League COO Sundar Raman, who the Mudgal Committee said was found interacting with bookie contacts while the world's richest cricket league was on. According to a source, Raman, who walked into the meeting along with Srinivasan (the latter representing the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association but actually conducting the meeting despite a court ban), offered to BCCI members call records of his handset for the last two years.
"He (Raman) was not worried. He admitted having called Vindoo Dara Singh many times but also added the calls last 30 seconds to 60 seconds, not enough to spot fix a match or place bets. No members — including those from Bengal and Punjab – raised any question," a top BCCI official said.
Board insiders claim the decision to award former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar the CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award was a tacit move to prop up the former Indian skipper against Maharashtra strong man Sharad Pawar, considered an arch-rival of Srinivasan and a friend of Lalit Modi, the exiled cricket official and the brain behind the IPL.
The BCCI official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the decision to take action against former BCCI presidents like Inderjit Singh Bindra and Pawar, could be cleared by the Working Committee in its meeting next month.