BCCI likely to call emergency meeting ahead of Bangladesh tour

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to call an emergency meeting within a week to consider the imbroglio surrounding the Indian team’s Bangladesh tour in June. This follows Bangladesh’s Mustafa Kamal quitting the ICC and blaming its chairman N, Srinivasan for his exit, a media report in Dhaka said on Thursday.

A top BCCI official was quoted as saying Kamal’s tirade against Srinivasan is perhaps forcing the Indian board to meet and discuss the situation, bdnews24.com reported. Kamal quit Wednesday as the ICC president protesting against not being allowed to present the World Cup trophy on March 29, terming this a “flagrant violation” of the world body’s constitution.

Srinivasan was the erstwhile BCCI president till a Supreme Court judgement forced him to relinquish his post on the basis of several wrongdoings surrounding the “conflict of interest” between his role in the board and also being co-owner of Indan Premier league (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings.

BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya has refused to comment on the Kamal issue.

The official, on condition of anonymity, said Srinivasan’s supporters in the BCCI are trying to force the emergency meeting.

“They may try to push BCCI to cancel the June tour of Bangladesh because Srinivasan is BCCI’s representative in ICC and Kamal’s tirade against him, they may argue, is now a national issue,” he said.

“But Srinivasan has large number of opponents in the BCCI who will stoutly oppose such plans, arguing that Kamal’s tirade against Srinivasan is a personal issue and BCCI cannot afford to create a diplomatic row,” the BCCI official added.

He said that if BCCI cancelled the tour of Bangladesh, Kamal will surely get his government to take up the issue with Delhi. The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is unlikely to cancel the cricket tour for fear of adverse impact on bilateral relations.

“Some of Srinivasan’s opponents may actually like the BCCI to do something silly so that the issue boils over and the Modi government comes down hard on the BCCI and forces it to oust Srinivasan,” said another BCCI official, on condition of anonymity.

Some ministers of the Modi government are connected to the BCCI and none of them belong to the Srinivasan camp. His opponents are trying to rope in these ministers and get him out of BCCI.

Kamal has made it clear in a Dhaka press conference on Wednesday that his fight is against Srinivasan and not against the BCCI.

India played a major role in getting Bangladesh its Test playing status, so it would be ironic if it were to cancel its June 2015 tour of Bangladesh, when two Tests and three One-day International (ODI) matches are likely to be played.

Kamal has described Srinivasan as “mentally deranged”. Upset pro-Srinivasan supporters are believed to be willing to cancel the Bangladesh trip to seek revenge.

But anti-Srinivasan supporters in BCCI say that India can ill afford to cancel its tour of Bangladesh when Pakistan has finalised its summer tour of Bangladesh.

Foreign policy analysts here say that a pullout will become a huge diplomatic issue if that happens.

Analysts say the Modi government will be very upset with the BCCI if they cancelled their tour at a time when Modi himself is planning to visit Dhaka this summer after the Indian parliament clears the land boundary agreement and his government inches closer to a possible deal on Teesta river water sharing.

Srinivasan’s opponents in the BCCI say it is time the board got rid of a man, barred by the Supreme Court from contesting BCCI polls again, from representing India in ICC.

“He is a national disaster,” said one Bengal cricket official who has represented the state board in BCCI for years.

But the BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya has refused any comment, saying he first needs to discuss the whole situation and all issues involved with his board members.