BCCI's crucial Working Committee meeting was adjourned over lack of legal clarity on the sidelined former chief N Srinivasan's presence. President Jagmohan Dalmiya adjourned the meeting sine die resulting in high drama at the board's headquarters in Kolkata.
The working committee was to discuss the report of the four-member working group on the roadmap for conducting the IPL in the wake of the two-year suspension of two franchises -- Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals -- by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee.
On Thursday, the IPL Governing Council headed by Thakur had recommended having two news teams for the next two editions of Indian Premier League in place of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
"The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Working Committee meeting was adjourned sine die after deciding to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court whether Mr. N. Srinivasan could attend the meetings of the BCCI as the authorised representative of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association," BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said in a brief statement.
The meeting was postponed as the members argued over the presence of Srinivasan, who was earlier barred by the Supreme Court from contesting the BCCI President's post following the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
In his defence, Srinivasan, who attended the meeting as President of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, placed Justice Sri Krishna's opinion which said he was entitled to attend the meeting, an official who attended the meeting said.
But some BCCI members countered that argument and claimed that the Supreme Court had made it clear that he should stay away from BCCI meetings.
"Since there was no clarity on the legal status of Mr Srinivsan, President adjourned the meeting after the BCCI legal adviser Ushanath Banerjee also said that he was not sure about Srinivasan's legal standing as of now," the official said.
The official said that Srinivasan was specifically told not to attend the meeting and among those who tried to dissuade him were IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla and BCCI Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary. However, Srinivasan did not give in and attended the meeting.
Srinivasan tried explaining his stance to the BCCI members by insisting that there was no conflict of interest in his position as an administrator and as owner of Indian Cements -- the company which owned CSK.
The BCCI, it is learnt, has decided to call an emergency working committee meeting in the first week of September to finalise the date of its Annual General Meeting, which is likely to be held in Kolkata on September 27.
The working committee was to discuss the Justice Lodha Committee report and the subsequent recommendations of the Working Group on Friday.
The committee was also set to deliberate on the the Madras High Court order directing the BCCI, India Cements and others involved to submit their counter affidavits to the petition which has been filed by CSK Ltd.
The High Court has directed the parties to file their written submissions within a certain time period and the next hearing has been scheduled for September 23.
The two-time champions CSK had moved the Madras HC challenging the suspension. The first bench of the High Court had found the petition maintainable and issued notice to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Other key points on the agenda were the NCA committee recommendations on whether to keep the apex academy in Bangalore, discuss affiliation status of Chattisgarh, Bihar and Manipur and the technical committee recommendation among others.
Appointment of India's next coach was not on the agenda but the working committee was to ask the Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman to finalise the name.
Ushanath Banerjee later told reporters that the matter of Srinivasan's representation in the BCCI would be dealt with after legal consultation.
"The Board has taken the opinion of two former judges who were of the view that attendance of Srinivasan may invite contempt of court. So, on the ground of conflict of interest, the meeting was adjourned sine die," he said.
"TNCA also obtained opinion of the former SC judge who said Srinivasan can attend the meeting. So to obtain the clarification on the honourable SC's order, the Board decided to adjourn the meeting."
"The next meeting of the working group will be decided by the Supreme Court and the AGM will be held tentatively on September 27," he added.