Trouble in offing for Mumbai, Vidarbha and Punjab cricket associations

Three powerful associations of the BCCI who conduct Tests regularly -- Mumbai, Vidarbha and Punjab -- are likely to face the heat from the ruling group of the Board in the wake of the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Mudgal Committee giving a clean chit to N Srinivasan in the IPL 6 corruption probe.

Sharad Pawar, Shashank Manohar and I S Bindra

"There were talks at the Board's Working Committee that Mumbai Cricket Association, PCA and VCA should be fined to get back the legal expenses incurred by the Board in fighting the case, now that Srinivasan has been given a clean chit," said a source, who attended the BCCI WC meet in Chennai yesterday.

Asked why these associations have been singled out, the source said that it has been found out by the others that some top administrators -- current and former -- connected to these three associations were supporting the cause of the case fought against Srinivasan by Aditya Verma, representing the unrecognised Cricket Association of Bihar.

Incidentally, MCA is headed by Sharad Pawar who is a known opponent of BCCI's president-in-exile N Srinivasan and the other two associations were, in the immediate past, headed by Shashank Manohar and I S Bindra -- two other men who were and are against Srinivasan continuing in his post in the wake of the corruption scandal.

There are apprehensions in MCA circles that such a powerful body, a permanent Test centre, could not only be fined but also be sidelined as far allotment of international cricket matches are concerned.

MCA last played host to Sachin Tendulkar's farewell 200th Test against the West Indies last November and in IPL 7 season had the mortification of seeing the final shifted to Bengaluru as BCCI was not convinced the association could solve some issues like accreditations, car parking for VIPs ¿ among other things.

One of MCA's matches was also allotted to Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium, a stone's throw away from the former's Wankhede Stadium and there are apprehensions that BCCI might allot matches directly to CCI in future.

The convention, till recently, has been that all BCCI-organised games allotted to be held in Mumbai are routed through MCA.

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