A crucial meeting of the Board of Control for Cricet in India or BCCI's working committee was cancelled at the last minute today, citing "technical" reasons. The meeting was to have been held soon after the governing council of the Indian Premier League or IPL met in Delhi. (Read BCCI statement)
N Srinivasan recused himself from the IPL meeting. He also reportedly refused to chair the working committee meeting.
Sources say the BCCI cancelled the meeting fearing contempt of court. The next date for a meeting will be decided only after the Supreme Court's verdict on its appeal.
The decision to call off the Working Committee meeting, sources said, was taken after a series of discussion where it was felt that there would be a revolt among in the board if Mr Srinivasan attempted to return as board president. He was forced to step aside in June after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested on charges of spot-fixing in this year's IPL.
BCCI sources said it took a lot of persuasion from board vice-president Arun Jaitley, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla and Mr Dalmiya for a defiant Mr Srinivasan to back down today.
At the IPL governing council meet, Mr Jaitley, a noted lawyer, explained the high court ruling to other members. The council then decided to appeal against the ruling, said Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer.
This week, the internal investigation conducted by the BCCI, cleared two teams - the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals - of involvement in spot-fixing. The BCCI's panel of two former judges said there was no evidence of fixing by Mr Srinivasan's son-in-law. Mr Srinivasan's firm, India Cements, owns the Chennai Super Kings.
The report had paved the way for Mr Srinivasan to resume office as chief of the world's richest cricket body. But the Bombay High Court then ruled that the BCCI's investigation was invalid, partly because the panel had been set up to probe charges against Mr Meiyappan, when his father-in-law was in charge as BCCI chief. The high court's verdict was based on a petition filed by the Bihar Cricket Association.
He was expected to attend today's meeting of the BCCI working committee as the representative of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. BCCI's Secretary Sanjay Patel had controversially said yesterday that Mr Srinivasan would chair the meeting because the internal inquiry has cleared his family and team of fixing charges. Mr Srinivasan had already begun attending office as president.
The spot-fixing controversy arose after the arrest of Rajasthan Royals players Shantakumaran Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan by the Delhi Police, who claimed they had proof that the players had conceded more than a specified number of runs per over in return for money from illegal bookmakers.