New Delhi: BCCI president N Srinivasan hinted that the board's constitution gives him the power to approve any decision of the national selectors, including that on the captain. When a news channel asked Srinivasan whether there was substance in the media reports that selectors were under pressure to sack MS Dhoni after India lost four Tests in England and another four in Australia but you had backed him, all that Srinivasan said was "it is not proper to discuss selection matters. The constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does say that the president has to approve the national team."
When the anchor rephrased the question and asked, "So, you have the last word as president? Srinivasan replied, "That's what the constitution of the BCCI says." Asked whether Dhoni should choose to quit the shorter format of the game as suggested by some experts, including former captain Rahul Dravid, Srinivasan said it is for the selectors to take the call. "The selectors are there to take a call. We have an experienced group of selectors. It is for them to decide. But personally I feel that Dhoni is discharging the duties [captaining in all three formats] well," he said.
Former India selector Mohinder Amarnath had claimed that the last selection committee headed by Kris Srikkanth unanimously agreed to sack Dhoni after the team's whitewash in England and Australia. But Srinivasan reportedly didn't approve the move.
A file photo of BCCI president N Srinivasan talking to Indian players. (AFP)
Asked if he spoke to Dhoni when the team was going through a tough phase, Srinivasan said: "All the Indian players are aware that the board is behind them. The BCCI has given confidence to the players that they should play their game. We will watch their back."
Srinivasan said Dhoni is very experienced captain and given the glorious uncertainties of the game he has sailed the team well. "During this season, his innings against England and the double hundred against Australia were game-changers. He has always been an outstanding player. He gave us two World Cups. He is a very experienced captain. Everybody will agree that given the glorious uncertainties of cricket, Dhoni has sailed well," he said.
Incidentally, Dhoni, who captains Srinivasan-owned Chennai Super Kings, is now also the vice president of a Chennai-based corporate.