Srinivasan stays BCCI chief

2013-09-29 12:03
N. Srinivasan (AFP)

New Delhi - India's embattled cricket chief N. Srinivasan won a third term in office Sunday even though a Supreme Court order bars him from taking charge immediately due to a corruption scandal.

The 68-year-old cement tycoon, one of the most powerful men in world cricket, was elected unopposed for another year at the annual meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Chennai.

"Mr. N. Srinivasan was unanimously elected as President of the BCCI for the year 2013-14," a statement from the cricket board said, without elaborating. It only detailed the names of office-bearers and members of various committees.

The Supreme Court had on Friday barred Srinivasan from taking charge until it has ruled on a petition against him over a spot-fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a popular Twenty20 event.

A cricket body in the eastern state of Bihar which is not affiliated to the BCCI had asked the court to prevent Srinivasan from heading the BCCI on moral grounds because his son-in-law had been charged in the scandal.

The son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, is among several officials, players and bookmakers charged with cheating and criminal conspiracy, although the BCCI chief himself has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The BCCI did not say who will head the body until the Supreme Court's verdict, or whether fresh elections will be held if Srinivasan is subsequently barred from holding office.

Srinivasan temporarily stepped aside as president in June when Meiyaappan was named in the scandal, and handed interim control to Jagmohan Dalmiya, a former head of the International Cricket Council.

However the tycoon has continued to pull the strings behind the scenes and on Wednesday ensured that his bête noire, IPL founder Lalit Modi, was banned for life from the sport.

Srinivasan has publicly distanced himself from his son-in-law, who was the team principal of the Chennai Super Kings, the IPL franchise owned by India Cements and captained by national skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The Bihar association had argued in court that an internal BCCI probe panel had absolved Srinivasan, Meiyappan, India Cements and other IPL officials of wrongdoing even before police had filed charges in court.

Sanjay Patel was confirmed as the new BCCI secretary, three months after he took temporary charge from Sanjay Jagdale, who resigned in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal.

Former first-class cricketer Ranjib Biswal was appointed chairman of the IPL, succeeding Rajiv Shukla who too had quit after the scandal broke.

Srinivasan's hold on world cricket stems from India's vast television audience which enables the country to generate almost 70 percent of the game's revenues.

International news organisations, including Agence France-Presse, have suspended their on-field coverage of matches hosted by the BCCI since last year after the board imposed restrictions on picture agencies.


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