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N Srinivasan must step down as BCCI president

Indian cricket board president N Srinivasan can no longer be oblivious to the need to do what is, only, sportsmanlike — vacate his seat as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India in the wake of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan’s alleged involvement in the spot fixing scandal.

N Srinivasan
N Srinivasan

Last week, Srinivasan’s working committee was not tardy when it came to suspending S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on being picked up by the Delhi police after the Mumbai vs Rajasthan Royals match at the Wankhede Stadium on May 15.

Srinivasan stressed at a media conference that harsh punishment will be meted out to the offending cricketers, but they (BCCI) must be fair as well. In short, he was saying while the players were suspended, they were not yet guilty. Fair enough.

Likewise, Srinivasan should withdraw from running the BCCI until his son-in-law and franchise — Chennai Super Kings — emerges clean. For all purposes, he is the boss of the franchise and a leader must accept responsibility for actions of his team members. Yesterday, a statement was sent out to the media by India Cements saying Meiyappan was not the team principal and was performing only an honorary role.

Before

After


Moments after the India Cements press release, Gurunath Meiyappan’s profile details on Twitter were changed, and all mention of him being CSK’s team principal were removed

However, this turned out to be a blatant lie; the cached web pages of the official CSK website clearly refer to Meiyappan as the team principal/team owner. How could a company as reputed as India Cements resort to such tactics in the face of serious allegations?

Besides, the fact that Meiyappan was seen with the players as well as at the high-profile auctions are enough indication that he was someone important in the set-up.

Meiyappan may well emerge spotless, but as long as the storm doesn’t abate, his father-in-law cannot call the shots at the BCCI because they have been directly or indirectly running the same team in a competition that is the child of the BCCI. Several cases of conflict of interest stick to Indian cricket like moss to the ground. By stepping aside, Srinivasan will prove that he is open-minded and fair.

Lead from the front

Shockingly, Srinivasan has chosen to be silent on the matter. When you sit in that chair, great power comes with great responsibility. All those commentators say about captains on the field that they need to lead from the front. Why is Srinivasan not doing that when it is needed most? Making a statement or making things transparent to the paying public via the media is not jumping to conclusions. It does not mean compromising investigations if you give an explanation to what exactly is going on in this league — today.

Srinivasan now seems to be taking recourse in silence, but that smacks of indecisiveness, an inability to shoulder responsibility and frankly a way to dismiss the problem, make it trivial somehow or unworthy of comment.

His ‘three bad eggs do not make a rotten basket’ argument has lost steam as the public knows there are more skeletons jangling in the cricket closet. It is time the big man of the richest sports body in India spoke up and of course, quit for the time being, at least.

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