The satirical Catch-22 - one that deals with a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule - has caught the Indian cricket administration unguarded. Until Tuesday evening, the BCCI was at wits end trying to resist Shashank Manohar's single-minded plan in bringing about a flurry of reforms at the International Cricket Council (ICC). On Thursday morning, the board woke up to a fresh headache - whether to propose a name from India for the top job at the ICC or not.
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) won't mind proposing a name. However, if they do propose, it will have to be of an individual who is willing to provide an undertaking that his state association will implement the Lodha Panel reforms. "Take it or leave it," is the CoA's line.
The three potential candidates for the post, in that order, are: N Srinivasan, Anurag Thakur and Sharad Pawar.
Outside of India, Sri Lanka Cricket chairman Thilanga Sumathipala has thrown his hat in the ring. Elsewhere, old hands Giles Clarke (England) and Wally Edwards (Australia) are aspirants too. The CoA isn't overly worried. Their logic: "Why should the CoA propose a name? SC mandate is to make state associations implement Lodha reforms, not propose names for ICC."
On Friday, the CoA will meet in Delhi and the subject of ICC chairmanship will informally come up for discussion. "The CoA will keep it aside for now," sources said.
Former BCCI president Srinivasan is certainly interested in heading to the ICC. The entire cricket fraternity is unanimous he is the "perfect choice" to run the game at the international level and protect BCCI's long-term interests. "The CoA won't mind proposing his name, should he give an undertaking that Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) will implement Lodha reforms," say sources.
It is clear that Srinivasan will not agree to it. To head to the ICC, Srinivasan has to resign as TNCA president, which would mean he cannot be technically held responsible to provide the undertaking. But the CoA is unwilling to accept that.
"We all know how it works. It has to come from him (Srinivasan)," add sources.
That is where the catch is. BCCI knows the solution to a problem but alternately believes the solution itself is the problem.
CoA wants the undertaking but Srinivasan won't give one, because that will mean betraying the very establishment who he's fighting for. "Then what is the difference between what Manohar did - in leaving the BCCI in a mess for the ICC post," is how an official put it.
There's time until June, to propose names, when the ICC will host its annual conference. Until then, the least CoA can do is hear out professionals who understand how things work.
From a financial and governance perspective, if BCCI has dictated policy decisions at ICC, a major voice in formulating those policies has been former Indian Premier League COO Sundar Raman. Waiting to see what CoA does next, the cricket industry expects BCCI administrators to at least hear what Raman has to say on this.
"Their (CoA) problem is state associations, right? But Sundar is far away from all this and if anybody understands how the ICC functions, it's him," say those who understand the dynamics of the cricket industry.
All that CoA has to do is ask for Raman's views and "let some wisdom prevail."
Courtesy: The Times of India