New Delhi: Rajeev Shukla on Saturday resigned from his post of IPL Chairman, days after the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal broke out and just ahead of the critical BCCI Working Committee meeting that may see the ouster of the cricketing body's chief N Srinivasan.
Shukla, who still remains the BCCI vice president, said he made the decision to quit in the "view of recent controversies". "It is a decision which I was pondering over for some time. I think it is time to step down," Shukla said.
He also took into account the resignations of BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale and treasurer Ajay Shirke before taking the decision to step down. "Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke resigned in the best interest of Indian cricket. I thought this is the right time," he said.
The resignation of Shukla comes as a severe setback to the incumbent president Srinivasan who has already been isolated by his team of officials, two of whom -- Secretary Jagdale and Treasurer Shirke -- have already quit.
But the beleaguered 68-year-old chief of the cricketing body is not ready to go down without a fight and he has set pre-conditions for his resignation. Srinivasan wants to fill in the posts of BCCI secretary and treasurer, vacated by Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke on Saturday night, with the people he chooses. He also wants to be a representative in the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Sources have said there are two factions within the BCCI. While one faction wants a compromise exit for Srinivasan and is in favour of him stepping aside till the probe into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandals and against his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan is over, the other faction wants him to quit on Sunday after the meeting.
BCCI Working Committee Joint Secretary Anurag Thakur said that a number of issues would be discussed during the meeting. "I discussed with the President, I have given notice for meeting and it will be held tomorrow in Chennai. We are going to discuss a lot of issues. I think it is to early to discuss it in the media (on interim president) but as I said we will discuss number of the issues - to clean the image whatever steps are required will be taken by BCCI. There will be transparency and fair probe. There will be no conflict of interest," said Thakur.
Srinivasan will be told clearly by the members that his position was "untenable" under the circumstances and it would be in the interest of Indian cricket that he stepped down on moral grounds, PTI reported. If he continued to remain adamant, most of the Board officials will then to quit and create a constitutional crisis within the Board, leaving him with no option but to step down.
The working committee has 24 members and it has been largely summoned to gauge the mood which was heavily against Srinivasan. Now with both Secretary Jagdale and Treasurer Shirke gone, it will be a 22-member forum as both Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) and Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) are not part of current working committee.
Meanwhile, the name of former BCCI chief Shashank Manohar, a non-controversial figure whom Srinivasan had succeeded two years ago, is doing the rounds as the interim president but it remains to be seen if that actually happens since he is not part of any affiliated body right now. Shivlal Yadav, the Vice-President from South, is also seen as a possible candidate.
BCCI Working Committee (24):
President: N Srinivasan
Secretary: Sanjay Jagdale (Resigned)
Joint secretary: Anurag Thakur
Treasurer: Ajay Shirke (Resigned)
Vice-Presidents: Arun Jaitley (North), Chitrak Mitra (East), Sudhir Dabir (Central), Shivlal Yadav (South), Niranjan Shah (West)
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)