New Delhi: What can be described as a classic Indian compromise, N Srinivasan continues to be the president of the Indian cricket board, the BCCI. At the end of the emergency meeting of the Board's working committee in Chennai on Sunday, all that the BCCI chief agreed to do was "not discharge his duties" till the probe was completed.
The day had begun with talk of him being persuaded to "step aside" as BCCI chief. But by the time it ended, he hadn't been evicted from the job which most expected him to lose. In fact, far from it. In a stunning move that smacked of a compromise, a former board chief was handed the reins with a carefully worded media release.
Srinivasan announced that he will not discharge his duties as the President of the Board till such time that the probe was completed. Till such time, Jagmohan Dalmiya would conduct the day-to-day affairs of the Board. The Committee expressed full confidence in ex-Secretary Sanjay Jagdale and ex-Treasurer Ajay Shirke and requested them to withdraw their resignations in the larger interest of the Board.
While most BCCI officials scrambled to find their voice in public, the two men who had quit in the build-up to the meeting stuck to their position. Both Shirke and Jagdale immediately rejected calls for a return to their duties.
Ironically, while both Jagdale and Shirke along with former IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla have now lost their jobs after public resignations, Srinivasan's has only been put temporarily on ice, despite serious charges facing his son-in-law. And it was one man who played the kingmaker - Arun Jaitley, along with Honorary Secretary Anurag Thakur and Shukla, who weren't even in Chennai, attending the meeting from Delhi on a teleconference. First rejecting calls to take over himself, Jaitley then proposed ex-president Shashak Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya as alternatives, scuttling any moves by the Sharad Pawar gang to have their man at the helm.
As the meeting progressed, the united chorus that was demanding Srinivasan's head for the last few days among state association officials, went mute.
In the cricket community, the decision was met with a range of reactions. While some, such as former BCCI President Sharad Pawar, who appeared to have been outmaneuvered in his design to get Srinivasan to resign, chose to stay silent, others were more scathing.
The big question now is what happens in the near future? Will Dalmiya appoint the new BCCI Secretary and Treasurer? Does he in fact have the authority to do so since he has only been entrusted with running "day-to-day" affairs of the Board? And most importantly, will Sunday's decision be challenged in a court?