Belaguered BCCI chief attends Dalmiya dinner in Kolkata

Kolkata, May 25 (IANS) BCCI president N. Srinivasan, facing uncomfortable questions over his son-in-law’s arrest in the spot fixing scam, attended a dinner thrown by former board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya here Saturday, amid speculation that some BCCI members have come together to ensure his exit from Indian cricket’s apex body.

Besides Dalmiya and Srinivasan, Indian Premier League Commissioner Rajeev Shukla, board vice president Chitrak Mitra and functionaries of Cricket Association of Bengal were present at the dinner in a South Kolkata five-star hotel.

A veteran board member said Srinivasan’s position has become untenable with the sponsors of Indian cricket threatening to withdraw if he continued to head the board.

Indian team sponsors Sahara India chief Subrata Roy has pulled his team Pune Warriors from the IPL and described BCCI’s style of functioning undr Srinivasan as “disgusting, irritating and frustrating”.

“A person like Srinivasan does not know how to run cricket. Sahara will not sponsor team India as long as N. Srinivasan stays as its chief,” Roy was quoted as saying by a TV channel.

IPL sponsors Pepsi has also reportedly informed the Indian board that it would review its association with the league.

“If the fallout of the controversy is the exit of sponsors, then that will be a serious setback for Indian cricket. Srinivasan will have to go, if not today, then after some time. His position has become untenable. But it is upto him whether he will quit on his own or choose to stay,” the board member said.

A defiant Srinivasan has, however, ruled out stepping down. “I have not done anything wrong, I have no intention to resign. I cannot be bulldozed into resigning,” he told reporters in Mumbai earlier in the day.

Going by the numbers, it seems there is little danger to Srinivasan’s continuation in the high office for the moment, despite the purported move by some affiliates to see his ouster.

If Srinivasan is to be forced out, the BCCI rules stipulate that a notice signed by at least ten members has to be given to the board secretary who will then convene an emergent general meeting. Srinivasan can be sacked if two-thirds of the members present and vote for his removal.

“All this seems to be a tall ask at this moment,” said a board member, as some of Srinivasan’s associates seemed to be lobbying hard to ensure his survival.

Meanwhile, Dalmiya held a one-on-one with Shukla at his New Alipore residence. Later, facing questions from the media about the controversy and whether Srinivasan should go, Shukla gave an open-ended reply, saying “everything is under discussion”. He did not elaborate.

But Shukla cleared the air about Sunday’s final saying it would be held as scheduled.

Following the arrest of Gurunath Meiyappan – Srinivasan’s son-in-law and the CSK CEO, there has been a growing clamour for sacking the IPL franchise.

With BCCI terminating two IPL franchises on financial matters, critics have been seeking the cancellation, or at least the suspension of CSK, in the aftermath of the controversy.

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