Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, breaking his silence on the spot fixing controversy, said last evening that it was difficult for him to say whether embattled N Srinivasan should step down as chief.
However, the former International Cricket Council president went on to say, “but cricket should be clean and that should be the BCCI’s priority now.”
Meanwhile, the BCCI, for once, stands a divided house. As recently as Sunday, Srinivasan had put up a defiant show to iterate he had “done nothing wrong” and will “not resign”, following the revelation that his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, was involved in IPL betting and match fixing. He had also addressed the Press meet which was attended by a healthy number of BCCI members, in clearly what was meant to be a show of strength.
‘Can’t ignore Srini’
But all, it seems, was not well with Srinivasan’s state. According to a Cricket Association of Bengal insider, the board president had sent a note to each and every BCCI member present in Kolkata on the IPL final day, to attend his press conference. “If the board president asks you to come, not too many people will ignore such a direction. Also, most of them were staying at the hotel where the Press conference on Sunday was held so they really had to be there. It was not really a show of support,” he said.
Jagmohan Dalmiya was not present though. “Yes, Srinivasan did ask him to come too,” the source said. But the veteran of many years of BCCI politics did manage to stay away.
But it was Arun Jaitley’s stance on Sunday that perhaps holds key to the recent developments. Jaitley had a long meeting with Srinivasan prior to the Press meet and what they could have talked about is anybody’s guess. “Jaitley was supposed to attend the IPL final at Eden and all arrangements had been made for his visit. But only at the last minute did we realise that he will not be coming. That was a clear signal that he didn’t like the way Srinivasan was handling the issue,” the source said.
The source also explained that though almost all BCCI members attended the dinner on the eve of the IPL final, it was not a show of support for Srinivasan.
“The dinner was hosted by the CAB. Almost everyone who mattered were there, but that should not be seen as support for Srinivasan,” he added.
The source maintained that most affiliated units of the BCCI were silent till a heavyweight member spoke out against Srinivasan. Till such time, as is the norm with the board, everyone played a waiting game. “Now that Jaitley, Rajiv Shukla, IS Bindra are all asking for his resignation many others may join.
Shashank Manohar and Srinivasan were always close but now even he is asking for independent probe in the IPL fiasco. All this does not augur well for Srinivasan,” he said.