Now that ICC is out of grasp, N Srinivasan could go back to his mini theatre to watch his favourite classics. And of course, there’s golf, his other sporting love
N Srinivasan, International Cricket Council chairman till yesterday afternoon, kept his eyes glued to text messages friends sent from Mumbai, venue of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Annual General Meeting that ousted him as chairman of ICC.
Also read: BCCI chief Shashank Manohar to replace Srinivasan as ICC chairman
N Srinivasan. Pic/Getty Images
He told a few reporters that he would now focus on golf, his all-time love. But actually, he called a few confidants to find out whether there was any move within the BCCI to remove him from Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, his last bastion. No one could offer him any answer, including friends who had prevented this morning Srinivasan’s biggest foe, Cricket Association of Bihar’s Aditya Varma, from entering the AGM.
Also read: I am not upset at all, insists N Srinivasan
Srinivasan went into a huddle with some friends, no one could hazard a guess what he discussed during his hour-long meeting but it was obvious to many in BCCI that the cement tycoon would not throw in the towel so easily. “He still stalks me, he is after me. He thinks I am his biggest enemy. I think he should do some introspection tonight, especially after the decision by the board that was once his fiefdom,” Varma said.
Stumps for Srini
Srinivasan, whose 11-year reign in Indian cricket was curtained by BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who will be the new ICC chairman for the rest of the term — even made some business queries and checked the status of some of his legal cases. But cricket, claimed those close to him, remained uppermost on his mind.
The cement tycoon realised his cricket empire had all but crumbled. His favourite cricketer and India ODI and T20 skipper, MS Dhoni, had sought his permission to leave Chennai Super Kings, among the two banned IPL franchisees. Dhoni, Srinivasan knew for almost a month, has been in negotiations with a number of industrialists to form another franchisee which he could lead for the next IPL season.
CSK, which ran into trouble due to a series of controversies over bribery and spot fixing in the IPL, had to be buried, Srinivasan had told his confidants last month. The former BCCI president’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan —the team principal of CSK — being indicted for betting and spot fixing and banned for life from all cricket related activities had been a body blow to Srinivasan. Frustrated, he even shaped up plans to donate all CSK merchandise among poor students in Chennai.
Srinivasan, a chemical engineer, who got his degree from Illinois Institute of Technology and once loved reading mystery novels and autobiographies of world leaders, was clearly packing up, tying up the loose ends of his cricketing life. He knew cricket, and cricketers, were virtually out of his control in India. A few of his friends, including Mumbai’s Prof Ratnakar Shetty, were in touch and talked every now and then on mutual things.
But cricketing power, Srinivasan had — more or less — realised, was out of his grasp, more so after the recent resignation of his close friend, Sundar Raman, as the COO of IPL. Criticism continued to pour in, even from veteran cricketers who felt Srinivasan was the cause of their misery. In many private conversations, former India opener Virender Sehwag had blamed Srinivasan and Dhoni for snapping up his career without a farewell match. A frustrated Sehwag retired without informing the board.
The cricket king was becoming a loner, almost like his friend-turned foe, Lalit Modi with multiple charges levelled against him by the BCCI. Now that ICC is out of his grasp, there are chances that Srinivasan, who has one of the biggest home collection in Chennai of old classics, could go back to his mini theatre.
He could even visit a cinema hall, the last time he went was nearly two decades ago. He had watched Air Force One, released in 1997. Else, he would now be a regular in corporate golf tournaments in Kodaikanal, his favourite course. But there are chances he will see glimpses of the willow while swinging his golf club.
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