Former BCCI president N Srinivasan admitted that the world’s richest cricket body has gone backwards and Indian cricket deserved better but expressed confidence that the board would not collapse despite the ongoing power struggle.
Srinivasan was removed as the BCCI president by the Supreme Court in 2014 in the aftermath of the spot fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League which also involved his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan.
The Court has since then appointed a Committee of Administrators to implement administrative and constitutional reforms in the Board in accordance to the Justice RM Lodha committee recommendations.
However, the constant bickering between the two remaining CoA members — Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji — and their failure to implement the constitutional reforms suggested by the Lodha committee have raised questions on what good the CoA have achieved.
Though Srinivasan, whose coffee-table book Defying the Paradigm — Fifty Years of Grit, Vision and Institution Building, will be released soon, told Hindustan Times in an interview that the Indian team was performing despite the confusion in the administration thanks to the talent available across the country.
“I feel very sad because of what is happening. At a time when BCCI should have marched ahead further on the same lines or direction that we had shown. But it has gone backwards and that is sad,” he said.
Srinivasan also brushed aside criticism that the board had turned into a bully on the international stage during his stint at the helm.
“I think everyone knows what happened and why BCCI money was given up and why BCCI lost its position. And to say that when I was there BCCI bullied others, that is wrong. BCCI looked after itself. What is wrong in a representative of a board fighting for his own country? I think it is absurd to criticise that.
“But having said that, I feel BCCI has tremendous intrinsic strength. It will not collapse. It might have a set-back, but it will bounce back,” he added.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is the president of Cricket Association of Bengal is considered one of the front runners to lead the Board after the reforms are implemented. And when Srinivasan was asked about his views on the introduction of many former cricketers in administration, he said, “Administration requires a different skillset. So if a cricketer develops it or has it, excellent. I mean there is no ban or bar on any section. Ultimately we must understand that all these associations are democratic so whoever the members feel has the capacity will get elected and I welcome that.”