Unruffled by the Supreme Court order prohibiting him from taking charge and braving scathing criticism he has encountered on issues of propriety, a defiant N Srinivasan is certain to be elected unopposed as the president of the BCCI during its AGM in Chennai on Sunday. But he won't be able to discharge his functions due to a Supreme Court directive.
Despite the Supreme Court making some serious observations like how he has continued being the president despite his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan being charge-sheeted by Mumbai Police in the IPL betting scandal, Srinivasan and his confidants have gone ahead with their plan of retaining the power.
The Tamil Nadu strongman, who is vying for his third term as the BCCI President, can only resume his duties once the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the case filed by Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma.
Srinivasan said the court has not made a single observation which should stop him from seeking an extended one-year term as Board president at the end of his regular two-year tenure.
There is a possibility that Srinivasan might again have to appoint Jagmohan Dalmiya as the working head of the Board but it is unlikely that the president-in-exile will give any additional powers, including signing authorities, to the shrewd Kolkatan.
In that case, Sanjay Patel, who will now become the permanent secretary, will have to sign all the necessary documents till the apex court allows Srinivasan to resume charge.
The norm for filing nominations for the post of president is to get a proposer and a seconder from the zone of the incumbent. While the Goa Cricket Association and the Andhra Cricket Association were initially reluctant to support the Tamil Nadu strongman but the 'Cement Baron' from south and his trusted aides used their persuasive skills to perfection to get them on board.
With six southern associations (Tamil NaduCA, AndhraCA, Karnataka StateCA, KeralaCA, HyderabadCA and GOACA) firmly behind him, the chances of having another candidate to fight against Srinivasan were blown away.
Also the fact that none of the influential voices in the BCCI, including some of the political luminaries, took a stand, made it a tad too easy for him.
Most of the state associations, who get a lot of sops in the form of annual grants as well as international matches, have no voice whatsoever and would toe the 'Srinivasan-Line'.
His ability to keep the members happy has also gone strongly in favour of Srinivasan. A two-day pleasure trip to a plush resort in Mahabalipuram and a lavish party thrown at a five-star facility in the city yesterday night were testimony to the amount of confidence he has in his members.
"Look the apex court's observation never stated that Srinivasan can't contest the elections. That's why he is contesting. There were talks of Shashank Manohar contesting the elections. He (Manohar) is an honest man but did he come out in the open and express his opinion?" a senior office bearer of a state association, who is in Chennai, told PTI.
"We only heard from sources not from Manohar that he is willing. Why should we put our necks in line when we don't even know that whether he will go all out? You can't blame AndhraCA and GoaCA for changing their stance.
"It's a case of survival for every association and no one wants to lose out on the perks by standing on the wrong side of the fence," he added.
There will be a few key decisions that will be taken at the AGM including who will be the chairman of the cash-rich but controversy-ridden Indian Premier League.
While Jagmohan Dalmiya's name has been doing the rounds, the popular notion is that he is not getting any younger for a job that requires multi-city hopping week-after-week and lot of additional pressure handling the franchises and owners.
HaryanaCA supremo and one of the youngest administrators in the BCCI, Aniruddh Chaudhary's name is doing the rounds while there are some discussions regarding the post of treasurer as well.
The one change that is expected is MCA treasurer Ravi Savant relinquishing his post as the ruling faction is in the lookout for a new man for the job.
Image: N Srinivasan
Photograph: Jack Dabaghian/Getty Images