Johannesburg – It’s been quite a week for the Board of Control of Cricket in India or more specifically, their president, Narayanaswami Srinivasan.
The BCCI as was widely expected, extended Srinivasan’s term as president and in the process chose a bunch of his close mates to fill various senior administrative posts.
All well and good for them, but India’s Supreme Court, isn’t so happy. In fact, judging by what the court said this week, when extending Srinivasan’s “suspension” – for that’s what it is effectively – as president, the Supreme Court is at the very least perplexed and at most deeply concerned.
“The fact that so many things are coming out of the IPL and BCCI, something is seriously wrong with the apex body controlling cricket,” the court said during Monday’s hearing.
Cricket South Africa would no doubt agree that “something is seriously wrong”, though they can’t say so. Cricket SA can’t say anything, lest they further anger an organisation that wields a substantial portion of the financial muscle in world cricket.
The match-fixing scandal that rocked the Indian Premier League and led to the banning of three players including Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, seeped all the way up the BCCI line of authority right into Srinivasan’s lap. How do we know this? Well Mike “Mr Cricket” Hussey, as durable and honourable an international cricketer as Australia have ever produced, wrote just that.
When the fixing scandal first broke, Srinivasan tried to distance himself by saying that his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, was nothing more than a glorified fan of the Chennai Super Kings, the IPL franchise owned by India Cements. Srinivasan is India Cements’ managing director. Hussey wrote in his autobiography Underneath the Southern Cross: “Our owner was India Cements, headed by Mr Srinivasan. As he was also on the board of the BCCI, he gave control of the team to his son-in-law Mr Gurunath. He ran the team along with Kepler Wessels, who was (then) coach.”
Where does all this leave Cricket SA and, importantly, cricket enthusiasts in this country? Frustrated and bemused mostly.
The BCCI’s “tours and fixtures committee”, apparently have a meeting taking place today and given the committee’s name, they’ll presumably discuss tours and fixtures and CSA hope the Indian team’s tour here at the end of the year.
Then Haroon Lorgat and Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani will have to fly to India to sit down and again get told what will happen. Who will tell them is anyone’s guess given the Supreme Court’s decision to put a hold on Srinivasan.