N Srinivasan’s decade-long regime as a high-profile cricket administrator may come to an end next Monday, as the BCCI, at its annual general meeting, is likely to replace its former chief as ICC chairman with current president Shashank Manohar.
Since the restructuring of the ICC last year, Srinivasan has been at the helm of its affairs as the BCCI’s nominee. However, given his controversial stint as BCCI chief ended earlier this year after the Supreme Court of India barred him from seeking re-election, a majority of the BCCI members feel it would be inappropriate to have Srinivasan continuing as the ICC chief.
Most of the BCCI members have expressed their desire to remove Srinivasan to Manohar, who had stepped up the drive to stamp out conflict of interest issues – one of Srinivasan’s main stumbling blocks – in Indian cricket since taking over as president. It is understood that Manohar is willing to take up the additional responsibility as ICC chairman besides dealing with the BCCI affairs. In fact, according to a Manohar aide, he had expressed his desire to be elevated to ICC chairman even before the special general meeting in October that was necessitated by Jagmohan Dalmiya’s death.
Srinivasan had begun to gradually lose his clout in the BCCI after not being allowed to continue as the BCCI president by the courts. And Manohar and Srinivasan, once allies, had turned into bitter rivals over the last couple of years. So, sensing the need to be on the right side of the power equations, even some of the staunch Srinivasan loyalists have distanced themselves from him over the last month, ever since Manohar took over the Indian board. As a result, the resolution to get Manohar in the ICC role in place of Srinivasan may not even require voting among members.
Anurag Thakur, who had scraped past Srinivasan supporter Sanjay Patel to be elected BCCI secretary, has also already given hints of not following Srinivasan’s directives anymore by inviting Nepal to India to prepare for the World T20 qualifiers in June and proposing to revive the Asian Cricket Council. It remains to be seen if the Manohar-Thakur combination decides to maintain the terms of the ICC revamp spearheaded by Srinivasan – the controversial restructuring saw the BCCI earning a majority of the ICC’s revenue, thus creating a dissent in the global cricket community.
Srinivasan had taken over as BCCI treasurer in 2005, then served as secretary from 2008 to 2011 with Manohar as president. In October 2011, he was appointed as the president and subsequently also took charge as the Asian Cricket Council chief. Despite his son-in-law being involved in the 2013 IPL corruption scandal, he controversially took over as the ICC chairman in June 2014. He will continue to serve as Tamil Nadu Cricket Association chief.