N Srinivasan should no longer be BCCI president

For the longest time, BCCI president and now ICC Chairman N Srinivasan’s great defence was a simple statement: “I am not being investigated.”
When he was asked whether he would consider stepping down because his son-in-law was being investigated, his retort was that he was not being investigated.
When some BCCI officials asked Srinivasan to step aside from his office as board president until the three-man commission (T Jayaram Chouta, Justice R Balasubramanian, and Sanjay Jagdale), his defence was the same old line.
When the media asked him if he would step down, his argument was the very same.
Things are looking a little less rosy for N Srinivasan after today’s SC hearing.
In Srinivasan’s mind, it all boiled down to one line: I am not being investigated. It seemed infallible. It was the kind of logic one can’t fight. And he dug in and stayed put.
It was a bit like the Maginot line that France built just before the second World War. Military experts extolled the Maginot Line as a work of genius, believing it would prevent any further invasions from the east.
But instead of taking it head-on, the Germans simply outflanked it.
And that is what has happened to Srinivasan’s defence with the Supreme Court revealing his name in today’s Mudgal report hearing. Perhaps, now he can start calling himself an enthusiast. Or maybe now, he can quietly step down. He has run out of options and lies.
When Gurunath Meiyappan’s name first cropped up in the IPL spot-fixing scandal, Srinivasan said that his son-in-law was not a Chennai Super Kings official.
And he said this despite Gurunath Meiyappan sitting in the CSK dugout, being present at IPL auctions, travelling with the team, posing with Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the IPL trophy, even exchanging team lists with Dhoni and coach Stephen Fleming.
“He [Gurunath] did not have any role at all. In fact, he never visited the office of the CSK. But he would go, he was enthusiastic,” Srinivasan had said.
He had further gone on to say that the trial by media was unfair.
“Persons who have been suspended by the BCCI, known defaulters, fugitives from the Indian justice system and other vested interests keen to discredit me and the BCCI, have indulged in a smear campaign in the last few days. The unfair attack has been relentless. The TV news channels have been carrying unverifiable statements devoid of truth.
“An illustration of this type of news would be that there is going to be a divorce within the BCCI. I wish to ensure the cricketing world that this is completely untrue and that there is unity in the BCCI. I have not been asked by anybody to resign. To the contrary, my support is complete, and I refuse to yield to unfair and motivated attacks. I intend to continue my duties as president of the BCCI. It was trial by media for me, you know. If you saw the newspapers, TV channels the only thing they were discussing was my resignation.”
Well, it did seem slightly unfair. Especially when Srinivasan would come out and say that he was not even being investigated. A bit of a witch hunt to be fair. And when it got really bad, the magnanimous president of the Tamil Nadu cricket association offered to step aside — only to step aside.
A gesture of such ‘courage’ that it even prompted Ravi Shastri, a man who needed little convincing, to launch a stirring defence during the Dilip Sardesai memorial lecture last year.
“A lot of people have asked me that what I would have done had I been in his (Srinivasan) position? I also would not have resigned,” Shastri had said. Elaborating further, Shastri added “What Srinivasan has done (by stepping aside) is that he has taken the responsibility to get the house in order.”
In fact, even when Srinivasan was suspended by the Supreme Court in April 2014, his argument to be allowed to retake over the reins of the BCCI again, read like this: “I am not under any inquiry or probe and hence no reason for me to be kept away from my office.”
So, now, by his own logic, Srinivasan should be kept away from office.
The Supreme Court disclosed names of the officials and administrators, but not players who have been investigated by the Mudgal Committee report and Srinivasan’s name, along with that of N Gurunath Meiyappan, Raj Kundra and IPL ceo Sundar Raman, were disclosed during the court proceedings.
In it’s observations, the Supreme Court said: “We have seen the report and it did suggest some misdemeanour on part of certain individuals. Certain findings recorded by the committee are understood to have indicted some individuals whose conduct has been investigated.”
If nothing else, it reveals Srinivasan is guilty of something. Whether it is something serious or a mere ‘enthusiastic’ misdemeanour, we will soon know. In the meantime, he can’t be allowed to run cricket — neither in India nor in the ICC.

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