London: Former Indian cricket board president Inderjit Singh Bindra continues to pull out skeletons from the closets of his successors Jagmohan Dalmiya and Narayanaswamy Srinivasan and has questioned how they could nominate themselves as India's representatives to attend the annual International Cricket Council (ICC) meetings, being held here over the weekend.
Bindra, who is here on a private visit, told IANS that both Srinivasan and Dalmiya disqualified themselves from representing India at the ICC, the former for having stepped aside pending inquiry into his son-in-law's alleged shady activities in the Indian Premier League (IPL) while the latter's interim arrangement to run the board is "illegitimate".
Bindra says it would be interesting to know who actually runs the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and speculates why Srinivasan is opposed to the Decision Review System (DRS). Bindra was amused to read the speculative media reports as to who would be representing the Indian board at the ICC meetings.
"Who controls the affairs of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and thereby runs cricket, once a religion but now a business resulting in controversies, corruption and lots of illegitimate benefits," Bindra said. Wondering who among Dalmiya or Srinivasan is controlling the board, Bindra infers that going by media reports the "stepped-aside" president is still calling the shots.
"Is it Jagmohan Dalmiya, given a media name of interim president, a designation which has no locus standi in the board manual or is the much controversial Narayanaswamy Srinivasan who was forced to step down by an aggressive media once the involvement of his son-in-law in the IPL betting scandal came to light," he said. Bindra said if Srinivasan attends the meeting it will prove that he still enjoys his clout in the BCCI.
"One report states that Srini will represent the BCCI in the crucial ICC sub-committee meetings. If that were the case, it is evident that he still calls the shots. If not, why should he, having stepped aside, step in. The reason being floated is even more interesting -- without Srini, the ICC would force the DRS (Decision Review System) down India's throat on a majority vote," said Bindra.
Bindra questioned why the BCCI or Srinivasan should at all oppose the DRS, which is favoured by other ICC members. "The more curious question remains why does India (read Srini) oppose the DRS, a system which has found favour amongst all for being fair and largely accurate. Does it not also justifiably curtail powers of on-field umpires whose involvements have also been thrown up in the latest match fixing scandals? Ironically, India has been a beneficiary of the DRS on a few occasions in the ongoing Champions Trophy and in the 2011 World Cup," said Bindra.
Contrary to media speculation, Bindra says Srinivasan will force his way into the Finance and Marketing Committee meeting because that's where the "patronage lies" as the next commercial rights issue would be coming up.
"Now to the bigger meeting of the Finance and Commercial affairs committee to discuss the next Commercial rights issue. This is where all the patronage lies and that's a meeting Srini would certainly like to attend (read control) -- be it in London next week or at any other venue if deferred by his influence. The question is that should someone who was forced to step aside from his position of authority on moral grounds (with a financial loop) be allowed or entrusted to be part of a process involving an enormous financial transaction," he said.
Recalling an incident in 2000, Bindra said Dalmiya, when he was the ICC president, was stopped from attending the influential finance committee meeting. "My mind takes me back to the year 2000 when Dalmiya as ICC president was brusquely barred from attending the influential finance committee negotiating the sale of commercial rights up to 2007 including the 2003 and 2007 World Cups in South Africa and the West Indies," he said.