Srinivasan continues to be defiant, hectic BCCI parleys in Kolkata

Kolkata, May 26 (IANS) Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief N.Srinivasan still appeared to be defiant as he stuck to his stand of continuing in the top post despite a subdued demand in the board and a clamour outside that he should step down in view of the raging spot fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The top BCCI brass was engaged in hectic consultations in the city to find out ways and means of salvaging the board’s image which has seemingly taken a hit after the scam came to light and enveloped former and present cricketers besides Chennai Super Kings Chief Executive Officer Gurunath Meiyappan, who also happens to be Srinivasan’s son-in-law.

A feeling among a section of the board officials is that Srinivasan should quit “at least temporarily” pending the inquiry into the scandal in which his close relative and franchise top honcho is now facing grilling in Mumbai police custody.

Meiyappan gave himself up late Friday night to Mumbai police, who arrested him after a three-hour grilling. Meiyappan’s name cropped up after police arrested Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh, who was seen in the VIP boxes during Super Kings’ matches.

However, on a day the BCCI suspended Meiyappan, Srinivasan continued to maintain in the unofficial parleys that there was no reason for him to quit.

BCCI vice-president Arun Jaitley held a meeting with Srinivasan, but what transpired during the tete-e-tete is not yet known.

On Saturday, Srinivasan attended a dinner thrown by former board chief Jagmohan Dalmiya here amid speculation that some BCCI members have come together to ensure his exit from the apex body of Indian cricket.

Besides Dalmiya and Srinivasan, Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Rajeev Shukla, board vice-president Chitrak Mitra, former board secretary Niranjan Shah and functionaries of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) were present at the dinner in a south Kolkata five-star hotel.

A veteran board member described Srinivasan’s position as “untenable” with the sponsors of Indian cricket threatening to withdraw if he continued to head the board.

Team India’s sponsors Sahara India chief Subrata Roy has pulled his team Pune Warriors from the IPL and described the BCCI’s style of functioning under 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 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 up to him whether he will quit on his own or choose to stay,” the board member said.

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