London, UK, June 26, 2014: It is truly a sad day in world cricket as N Srinivasan takes over as the Chairman of the ICC today. N. Srinivasan despite being removed by Supreme Court as BCCI President has been formally appointed the first Chairman of the ICC after its 52-member council approved a controversial revamp of the body's administrative structure, which in itself is a harbinger of the dark days ahead for world cricket. Consider this - N Srinivasan has been elected the Chairman despite being removed by the Supreme Court of India from the position of BCCI President due to ongoing investigations into the match-fixing allegations relating to the 2013 edition of the IPL.
India's FBI, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), is pursuing allegations of fraud committed by Srinivasan as managing director of India Cements, which is alleged to have routed scarce water resources with corrupt state officials to double production and profits. He is also at the centre of allegations of tax fraud by failing to pay stamp duty on 11 luxury vehicles that were seized by the CBI in March. Srinivasan suffers conflict of interest in world cricket, with his India Cements buying the Chennai Super Kings IPL franchise for $91 million.
The BCCI wholly owns the billion dollar IPL, so as president of the BCCI Srinivasan has the most influence over the game's biggest Twenty20 competition and therefore the value of his franchise. Supreme Court Justice AK Patnaik for the first time revealed details about the sealed envelope recently at the case hearing. He said that there were 13 names in the sealed envelope concerning match fixing and spot fixing, Srinivasan's name was the 13th, and he had 12 allegations against him, with annexure to each of them. "It seems that Mr Srinivasan has not taken the allegations seriously," he said.
The ICC now will become highly politicized, hugely wealthy, largely unaccountable and arguably more representative of the new kind of administration that N Srinivasan is known for and has dragged the BCCI to the levels of vagrancy to. There was also talk of rigging Andrew Flintoff’s bidding in the 2009 players’ auction, pipping Rajasthan Royals in the process. His son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan, is facing criminal charges relating to one of cricket’s most alarming problems, illegal betting.
Mr. Srinivasan also has had the temerity to state publicly today, at the press conference in the following manner – “Actually the Court did not ask me I stepped aside voluntarily. I do not know if you have followed the reporting of that.” His abrasive nature and utter disregard for the law is evident by this statement to the world today immediately after he has been crowned as the King of the thieves at the ICC. The inaccurate nature of this statement is a testament to the incredulous situation that the world of cricket finds itself in. The exact statements by the bench cannot be open to interpretations or different versions as what Mr. Srinivasan is now doing with media today. One can check this simply by going online and reading any article on the matter. A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and Ibrahim Kalifulla told senior counsel Aryama Sundaram, appearing for the BCCI:
“You ask Mr. Srinivasan to step down, otherwise we will give our verdict asking him to step down.”
Justice Patnaik said “unless the BCCI president steps down, there won’t be a fair inquiry. The man at the top must go. Why are you [Mr. Srinivasan] sticking to the post? It is nauseating. You [Mr. Sundaram] should be honest as a counsel and not as a lawyer for Mr. Srinivasan.”
Justice Kalifulla added: “If there has to be a fair and dispassionate inquiry, Mr. Srinivasan must step down.”
Despite all of the above and the unease it has caused among all member countries yet no one has raised any voice against N. Srinivasan, why is that? What moves the cricketing world to stand in silence when all this happens? Is this sport not something we love? Is this sport not as good or noble as others in the world? Does it warrant the same high standard as other sports? Can we live with ourselves as a nation while this man widely acknowledged as an unethical, blatantly polarizing and morally bankrupt individual is now the ICC Chairman.
Why is the rest of the cricketing world silent and why are all the hundreds of cricket players, current and former silent?