Aditya Verma, secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), was a delighted man yesterday following the Supreme Court’s directive to allow the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to hold its Annual General Meeting in Chennai on Sunday and the much-anticipated polls, but restricting president N Srinivasan from occupying the big seat if re-elected.
Srinivasan is seeking a one-year extension as the Board’s chief at the end of his two-year term. Verma, the petitioner, is single-handedly taking on Srinivasan, who was forced to step aside as BCCI chief after his son-in-law and Chennai Super Kings former Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was allegedly involved in the Indian Premier League spot fixing scandal.
Verma also sought to restrain the BCCI from inducting Srinivasan in any of its committees or allow him to participate in any of the proceedings in any capacity. The matter will come up for hearing on Monday.
However, Verma’s fight is being largely viewed as a way of taking revenge against the BCCI for not accepting the CAB’s affiliation. The former Tata Steel cricketer tried to put things in perspective: “Look, I am not against the BCCI. I am against the corrupt officials and set-up in the Board. Our fight is against them. It is important that they leave.”
On CAB’s affiliation issue with the BCCI, Verma said: “We have been fighting for recognition since the last 13 years. A lot of talent has gone for waste in Bihar. But that is another issue.” Verma said he had nothing to do with BCCI politics. “It is not my business who becomes the next BCCI president. It doesn’t matter. I am not involved in their politics. Whether Srinivasan wants to contest (despite Supreme Court’s riders) is his choice. We are delighted that the Supreme Court has acted on our plea. We did not want Srinivasan to take over until Meiyappan is cleared of charges. It is a huge boost to our expectations. We are very satisfied with the court’s outcome today,” he said.
The arguments went on for nearly an hour in the apex court in front of a bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik yesterday. “In the bargain, the judge also skipped his lunch,” informed Verma.
No way to treat Sachin
The Bihar man revealed the reason behind taking on the BCCI — Sachin Tendulkar’s ODI exit. “Such a great cricketer had to announce his retirement (from ODIs) through an e-mail to the Board. And that too just a few hours before the team was chosen for the Pakistan series. What did the Board president do? Why didn’t he request Tendulkar (to reconsider his decision) and urge him to have a farewell on the cricket field. I was very hurt with the way the whole issue was handled. That’s when I decided enough of all this nonsense,” said Verma.