Is Srini redrawing the rules of cricket?
It seems there’s no stopping N Srinivasan who has bludgeoned his way into the International Cricket Council (ICC), ushering in major structural reforms and now slated to become its first ever chairman. Less than a year ago, the Chennai Super Kings owner was neck-deep in crisis over the alleged involvement of his son-in-law M Gopinath in the IPL-6 betting scam. Ten months down, Srinivasan has not only regained his stature in the topmost Indian cricket board, the BCCI, but he has also managed to introduce a wide-ranging and definitely controversial resolution within the ICC to overhaul its governance, competition and financial models. This ruling, in fact, has already been criticised for putting too much power in the hands of the three biggies – India, Australia and England – and, is being opposed by second order cricketing powers such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which fear a discriminatory treatment in the wake of the fresh developments.
Given that international cricket is a multi-billion-dollar industry, Srinivasan’s victory puts a lot of power in the hands of BCCI. New financial reforms make a direct correlation between the weight of one’s opinion and the money that the party is bringing into the table, even though sponsorships and aids will be reflected according to on-field performances and ICC history. Moreover, that even smaller Test-playing countries would be eligible to host tournaments, thanks to the Test Cricket Fund, is also refreshing. These and other rearrangements, such as enhanced tour programmes, qualifying for test cricket etc are likely to boost the state of cricket in non or under-playing countries. Looks like personal setbacks and minor allegations of criminal complicity are hardly going to be hurdles for the man on his way to becoming the most powerful person in international cricket.