Justice Patnaik, a former cricketer himself, was keen to know about batting great's whereabouts before recommending his name to replace Srinivasan as BCCI chief
New Delhi: The clichéd "glorious uncertainties" in the game of cricket came to the fore yet again yesterday – in the Supreme Court of all places - where a bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik put forward batting legend Sunil Gavaskar's name as a candidate to take over as president of the Indian cricket board from N Srinivasan.
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The manner in which Gavaskar came up for discussion in the court hearing of the spot fixing case was most remarkable. Senior counsel and Bihar Cricket Association lawyer Harish Salve, who reportedly accused India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of being economical with the truth to the Mudgal probe panel, stressed the point that several great players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid deposed before the panel.
Suddenly, Patnaik asked, "Why was Mr Sunil Gavaskar left out? What about Mr Gavaskar? Anyway, where is he? Is he okay, is he fit?" Salve was quick with a reply: "Yes lordship, he is okay and very fit. I think he is doing commentary nowadays, but if chair wants to know, I can find out." Patnaik, who has played cricket at the amateur level smiled and made a note of something.
After listening to Salve for 150 minutes, the Supreme Court suggested Gavaskar or another respected cricketer's name as a replacement for Srinivasan. Lawyer Rahul Mehra informed the court that Gavaskar also had commercial interests in the BCCI, but Patnaik stated he was not pushing anybody's name and Gavaskar's appointment was mere a suggestion.
There is a possibility of Gavaskar not getting the highest seat in the BCCI and probably the batting icon knows that. "I will consider it. It will be a huge honour that Supreme Court feels I will be good enough to do the job. But we will have to wait and watch until tomorrow in which direction it goes. Let's not jump the gun," Gavaskar told NDTV.
Ten years ago...
mid-day's October 5, 2004 report of Gavaskar coming on board as team consultant
Senior counsel Harish Salve: Several great players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid deposed before the Mudgal probe panel
Justice Patnaik: Why was Mr Sunil Gavaskar left out? What about Mr Gavaskar? Anyway, where is he? Is he okay,
is he fit?
Salve: Yes lordship, he is okay and very fit. I think he is doing commentary nowadays, but if chair wants to know, I can find out.
Patnaik: Someone respectable like Mr Gavaskar should replace Srinivasan.
Man of multiple roles in cricket
> In 1998, he agreed to come on board as Mumbai Cricket Association vice-president in place of Ramakant Desai, who passed away that year
> Was head of the BCCI's technical committee for several years during which the Ranji Trophy was divided into Elite and Plate divisions in order to make it more competitive
> In 2004, he accepted an offer to be consultant of the Indian team which took on the touring Australian team despite John Wright being around as coach. India lost 1-2.
> In 1994, he took over as cricket manager of the Indian team in Sharjah where Ajit Wadekar suffered a heart ailment during the Austral-Asia Cup
> In 2001, he was appointed chairman of the National Cricket Academy and served for two terms till 2006
> He was a member of the IPL Governing Council from 2008 to 2010 when the BCCI said that the term for a GC member was reduced to one year