Humpty Dumpty had a great fall


Fear of legal ramifications in the aftermath of chairing the Working Committee meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has...

Fear of legal ramifications in the aftermath of chairing the Working Committee meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has silenced the man who presumed that he could get away with anything that he wished to do in the name of promotion of the sport. Taking things for granted has been second nature to Narayanswamy Srinivasan, who has had no qualms about considering the Board as an extension of India Cements and Chennai Super Kings, both of which he owns. The decision to call off Friday’s meeting at the eleventh hour had all the ingredients of a filmi thriller. Although there was admittedly a lead character, there was no typecast hero as such. Villains of the piece were dime a dozen. If Srinivasan was his usual stubborn self and wished to chair the meeting defying the laws of the land, his sycophant-lieutenants played ball by remaining mute spectators to the drama getting unfolded in the most grotesque manner, thanks to the whims and fancies of one individual who had the foresight to smartly cultivate a coterie of yes-men around him by showering them with lucrative thanksgiving rewards.

In the circumstances, all the king’s men displayed a spineless attitude when the ‘Boss’ wanted to make a mockery of the Bombay High Court ruling that the two-member probe panel constituted by the Board to ‘judiciously’ look into the murkier side of spot-fixing in IPL was unconstitutional, illegal and hence null and void. In effect, Jagmohan Dalmiya, who boasts of as many, if not, more aces up his sleeve, will remain the interim president. He is, meanwhile, biding his time to be firmly entrenched in the saddle.

Does the cancellation of the meeting (the second in three days) imply that the immediate danger has been dealt with? Is it time to sit back and rejoice that credibility has been salvaged? Will it mean that it will be back to normal and the nation could at long last heave a sigh of relief? If one takes the larger picture into consideration, then it certainly is not because several questions remain unanswered and each revolves around the very conduct of the Board. There are several mysteries associated with the latest sordid drama.

Who was empowered to reject the resignation letter of Rajeev Shukla as the Chairman of the IPL Governing Council considering that Srinivasan had ‘stepped aside’ and the interim president did not enjoy discretionary powers? It is perhaps time the gentlemen, who are members of the world’s richest cricketing body, shed their Man Friday tendencies and take the bull by its horn. The reluctance to dare the President, who appeared hell bent on protecting his ‘tainted’ son-in-law, has only further emboldened the administrator with Hitler-like fallacies. There is seeming distrust and angst among the cricket-loving public because Srinivasan could have been unseated soon after the spot-fixing bombshell exploded, provided the office-bearers had worked as a united front. It is unfortunate that rather than promote the game in letter and spirit, the officials are only destroying credibility with their morbid attitude. Ironically, apprehensions about legal implications have softened the God-fearing person whose kin had no pretensions whatsoever while rubbing the law on the wrong side. Poetic justice, perhaps!

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