N Srinivasan's riposte to CoA chief's remarks on TNCA

N Srinivasan

MUMBAI: N Srinivasan, the former BCCI and ICC chief and the man whose writ rules in Tamil Nadu cricket, has responded to critical comments made by Committee of Administrators chairman Vinod Rai following last week's anointing / electing of Srinivasan's daughter Rupa Gurunath as president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.  

Srinivasan's riposte to Rai, carried by The Hindu, reads: "I noticed certain comments made by Mr. Vinod Rai in an interview The Hindu carried on Sunday (Sept. 29) about the TNCA. Though the personalised attack on the TNCA was nothing new, it needs to be stated that this time it is only the deficiencies of the CoA which appear glaring.

"To recall, there are numerous petitions seeking various reliefs filed by numerous BCCI members as well as the CoA that were pending a detailed hearing. Due to the busy schedule of the Supreme Court, these have not been taken up except for the TNCA’s plea that the CoA was trying to block our elections citing non-adherence to their version of the earlier Supreme Court orders.

"The CoA was told elections would go on and all matters would be decided later, including the outcome of the elections. Earlier, the TNCA had made clear it’s stand on three basic issues: having at least two vice-presidents, one representing the 150 city club members and another from the 30 district associations, opposition to the applicability of eligibility criteria for committee members and the stipulation that for any amendment in future, the Supreme Court’s approval was necessary.

"I’m told that the learned Amicus Curiae was receptive to many of the requests of the TNCA and has filed an interim report in court which is yet to be seen by the Supreme Court. Therefore, abide by the directives of the CoA, or forfeit your right to vote in the AGM is not a stand which Mr. Vinod Rai can take. He nor the CoA can substitute their wisdom for that of the Supreme Court and his last comments drawing an analogy between the TNCA and a thirsty equine were not appreciated.

"Also, I can challenge his statement that 30 out of 31 are fully compliant. At least three members - Saurashtra, Haryana and Karnataka - have not placed eligibility criteria for their committee members. Many associations have been allowed 19 committee members, instead of nine, as per the BCCI constitution. It is only the TNCA that is singled out for criticism unfairly.

"I, for one, am not able to connect the eligibility to vote as a full member in the AGM and amendments to the members constitution unless the BCCI elections are being held as a pressure ploy to get the members to give up their legal rights and adopt a servient attitude. I’m reminded of a quote by Robert A. Heinlein: “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”