With almost a week having passed since BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya’s untimely death, it seems the Indian Cricketing Board is back to its old turmoil and the game of chess that was being played between it’s members some time back is on again.
It was only in March this year after months of contemplation, debate and a hand being forced by the Indian Supreme Court, that ICC Chairman N Srinivasan left BCCI and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) chief Jagmohan Dalmiya was appointed as the new head.
But Dalmiya’s ill health and absence from key meetings before his demise had already started causing stress to BCCI members.
Dalmiya’s election in March 2015 did seem to have brought the battle between N Srinivasan and MCA President Sharad Pawar to a stalemate.
But with Dalmiya gone, the war for BCCI’s top job is back on with the two camps already planning their next move.
The constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) says that it is now East Zone’s turn to propose the names of the candidates for the post of BCCI President.
Media reports indicate that they are going to field joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary of Jharkhand as their candidate for the elite post.
Meanwhile Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) chief Sharad Pawar and Rajeev Shukla’s names are also doing the rounds, even though it seems the seasoned politicians might not find a proposer and a seconder from the Eastern Zone.
The East Zone might be willing to back Srinivasan’s candidate since he enjoys one-third support in the East, especially from Assam, Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.
There as many as six votes from the East Zone comprising Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tripura and National Cricket Club (NCC), but unlike last time, a unanimous choice seems highly unlikely thus offering a chance to Shukla and Pawar.
Reports speculate that Pawar has pulled out of contention and the fight is likely to be between Shukla and Choudhary.
Pawar’s brief meeting with old rival N Srinivasan yesterday evening suggests that the two old BCCI veterans might just have something up their sleeves as well, even though it is highly unlikely that Srinivasan will come to Pawar’s support as Choudhary is known to be a Srini loyalist.
As for Pawar, the former ICC and BCCI supremo is most probably testing waters and would only offer his candidature if he is sure of at least 16 votes for which he would need government support.
Meanwhile, Thakur, who is currently the interim BCCI President, also needs to announce a Special General Body Meeting of the BCCI within 15 days of Dalmiya’s death. It seems, however, that the meeting may get deferred till the BCCI gets clarity on ICC Chief N Srinivasan’s presence in it.
For now, the BCCI Secretary is holding a meeting with members of some of the eastern unit factions while he is pitching for IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla’s name for presidency.