Just like the game of cricket, its administration too appears to be a game of glorious uncertainties.
TOI has reliably learned that Harish Salve, one of India's seniormost counsels, who first represented the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB) in filing the petition against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the Supreme Court back in 2013-14, has now decided to petition for Ajay Shirke, the former president of the Maharashtra Cricket Association, who has now been rendered an ineligible office-bearer by the Justice RM Lodha Committee in the backdrop of the January 23 order.
Close to three years ago, Salve's petition was filed on the basis of eradicating massive conflict of interest that existed in Indian cricket the proverbial 800 pound gorilla that everybody wanted to be associated with. This happened at a time when the multi-million dollar Indian Premier League (IPL) BCCI's cash-cow was grappling with investigations into allegations of spot-fixing and involvement of some big names in it.
Today , close to three years later, Salve could pick up cudgels once again to petition on behalf of Shirke and argue that the very petition he had filed on behalf of CAB in 2013-14 was based on a different argument vis-à-vis the July 18, 2016 order of the Supreme Court.The basis of Salve's argument is likely to question Shirke's sacking despite being an elected office-bearer under a constitution dictated by the Tamil Nadu Societies Act.
Shirke said he wasn't sure yet if Salve was on board to argue his case, adding “it's 50-50". However, he did admit to being in talks with the lawyer to ask him to argue his case at an individual level. The Pune-based businessman stressed that should Salve agree to represent him, it would not be on behalf of his state association in which he cannot continue anymore but at a personal level.
Sources tracking developments too confirmed to this newspaper about the possibility of Salve coming on board for Shirke. Salve remained unreachable for comments. The Nagpur-born lawyer, son of former BCCI president NKP Salve, has always been a staunch critic of the Indian cricket board from the point of view that post 2013 the spot-fixing controversy , the cricket board needed a clean up. Besides arguing that then board president N Srinivasan who had stepped aside as BCCI chief be kept away from Indian cricket administration under Section 6 of the board's constitution, Salve had also pushed for revealing names of cricketers investigated during the fixing scandal and wanted SC to make the full Mudgal report public.
In hindsight, sources in the know of developments said: “If Salve comes on board now, it will be on behalf of Shirke to argue that his sacking as an office-bearer of the BCCI is apropos of the petition CAB filed three years ago."
The legal fraternity tracking the state of Indian cricket administration post the SC order to implement Lodha Committee reforms couldn't help but admit that “Salve's comeback will be interesting to watch out for“.
Nevertheless, it will all still depend on whether the Supreme Court of India which has written an order in stone will entertain any more arguments.
Courtesy: The Times of India