Implications of Supreme Court order: buzz around BCCI elections, but will council elect Srinivasan as ICC representative?

Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah have been mandated to remain in the BCCI for another three years, but it is former President N Srinivasan who is the center of attention following the Supreme Court decision to allow changes related to the age limit of 70 years for ICC representation. The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for its President Ganguly and Secretary Shah to remain in office without undergoing the mandatory cooling-off period. A bench of Judges DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said an office holder can serve an uninterrupted term of office of 12 years, including six years in State Association and six years in BCCI before the three-year cooling-off period begins.

While the lifting of the cooling-off period will allow office holders to move forward, there is a strong buzz in BCCI circles that an election is on the way.

“In BCCI, things can change on the AGM floor. Until the nomination papers are filed and the audit is done, you never know. It’s too early to say what will happen after the AGM. Yes, the current office holders have the mandate and everyone knew Lodha’s recommendations were flawed,” a senior BCCI official who was aware of the developments told PTI under conditions of anonymity.

So, will the office holders be the same or will there be a change after the AGM? While both Ganguly and Shah declined to comment on the SC’s verdict, those following the developments said that some changes in the hierarchy cannot be ruled out, but in what form or form is not clear.

Some of the questions circulating include: Will we see Ganguly continue in BCCI as chairman? Or can we see him in the ICC? Will Jay Shah Be Elected President by BCCI Members? Or will the decision makers allow a promotion for Congresswoman Rajeev Shukla (MPs who are not allowed to be ministers)? These are some of the questions that will be answered in due course. The answers will also dictate Srinivasan’s fate.

It was Srinivasan, the rock-solid negotiator, who had made India the powerhouse at the ICC board meetings during his tenure as chairman. The concept of ‘Big Three’ (India, Australia, England) bringing in the share of ICC revenue was floated by Srinivasan, but it didn’t really take shape after he left office.

Lodha’s recommendations put an end to his hopes of getting back into the global spotlight, but the Supreme Court gave the green light to the age limit change and Advocate General Tushar Mehta’s argument for the bench where he spoke about how these ” old people” more networking and negotiating powers has sparked his hopes.

The ICC will have a new chairman in November, on condition that current incumbent New Zealander Gregor Barclay refuses the extension to which he is entitled.

It’s no secret that BCCI president Ganguly could have been a strong contender for the ICC top position before the rule change. An individual submitting a nomination for the presidency must now either be an ex-president/president or attend at least one ICC board meeting.

Aside from Ganguly were Shashank Manohar (one term to go) and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, who qualified for the top ICC job before the age limit was lifted. After the lifting of the age limit, the decks will theoretically be cleared for Srinivasan and NCP boss Sharad Pawar.

But Pawar has no chance at the moment and at this age he will not have the ambition to go to the ICC headquarters in Dubai again.

Hence Srinivasan’s name is doing the rounds.

But what will Secretary Shah’s last call on Srinivasan’s elevation be? Or are there more surprises in store? “Why do you forget that Brijesh Patel will end his IPL presidency term in a few months as he turns 70? Brijesh is a very capable director. Also, while SC has allowed more than 70 people to represent India at ICC meetings, but where does it say it has to be above 70? What if BCCI decides on Ganguly? Let’s wait and see,” said the source.

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