In a significant move, Mumbai Cricket Association's president Sharad Pawar has decided to attend the Board of Control for Cricket in India's Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held in Chennai on November 20, after a gap of four years.
"Mr Pawar's name was proposed by the committee members at yesterday's managing committee meeting and he has accepted it. He will attend the Board's AGM after four years," said Mumbai Cricket Association's joint secretary Nitin Dalal in Mumbai, on Saturday.
Pawar's decision to attend the AGM, deferred to November from its usual dates in September by the BCCI's all-powerful working committee to pave the way for president-in-exile Narayanaswami Srinivasan's return at the helm, could queer the pitch for the latter who was treasurer when the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo was president of BCCI from 2005-08.
Srinivasan, who has taken over as the first chairman of the International Cricket Council, has not functioned as BCCI chief following the setting up of the Justice Mudgal committee by the Supreme Court to investigate the betting and match fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League, which has submitted its final report on the probe against him and a few others earlier this month.
The Supreme Court will take cognisance of the report on November 10,
Pawar, a former president of ICC, is seen as a rallying force by opponents of Srinivasan mainly belonging to the West and Central Zones of BCCI.
As per the revised memorandum of rules and regulations, both Srinivasan and Pawar can contest for a second term if proposed and seconded by member associations of East zone whose turn it is to decide on a new president.
A long-time Pawar loyalist and a former BCCI vice-president said that earlier too this was the norm, but it has been put in black and white now.
Asked about Pawar's decision to attend the BCCI's AGM and its likely impact on the elections, he said, "Let's wait and see for a few more days, till November 10. It's too early to say anything at present. It all depends on East Zone members."
He, however, feels that it was a mistake on the part of the BCCI when Shashank Manohar was at the helm with Srinivasan as its secretary, to have changed its regulations and pave the way for all office bearers, including the president, to return to the administration for another innings after completing their first.
"BCCI had run without any problem for 75 years. What was the need for this change," he said.