The rise and rise of N Srinivasan

The rise and rise of N Srinivasan
An alumni of Madras University and Illinois Institute of Technology, 67-year-old Narayanaswami Srinivasan is an Indian sports administrator and businessman who is also the chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) - arguably the world's richest and most powerful cricket body. He has currently stepped aside as president, but plans to make a comeback after a month.

Son of the co-founder of India cements - a company with a turnover of Rs 4,200 crores according to its own website - Srinivasan is also the Vice President and Managing Director of the company. His interests though expanded to cover cricket at the turn of the millennium when he became the president of Tamil Nadu State Cricket Association in 2002-03, a post he currently holds as well.

From here, he quickly rose through the ranks of BCCI as well.

It is widely believed that Srinivasan and Sharad Pawar formed an informal alliance to oust Jagmohan Dalmiya from the BCCI's power centre in the years leading up to 2005 when he was appointed BCCI treasurer while Pawar took over the reins of the Board. In 2011, Srinivasan became the head of BCCI and is said to desire a second term.

While BCCI has managed to increase its influence and financial resources under him, there have also been several controversies surrounding his term.

In the state of Tamil Nadu, Srinivasan's rise to power was controversial but the launch of the Indian Premier League widened the scope of debate. India Cements - firm owned by Srinivasan's family - was awarded the Chennai franchise during city-based bids in IPL 1. This led to the 'conflict of interest' argument, with the head of the BCCI having a 'vested interest' in a domestic Twenty20 franchise.

Within seven months of the inaugural IPL, the BCCI constitution was amended to change a clause that stipulated that no administration or member of the Board should have any commercial activities related to cricket. This legally allowed Srinivasan to own an IPL franchise - and the most successful one at that.

Controversies however continued to trail the Board in the ensuing years. In April 2010, Lalit Modi was removed from his position as the Commissioner of the Indian Premier League. In London - on exile ever since - Modi has implicated Srinivasan behind his ouster and claimed irregularities on the part of the Board.

The latest controversy surrounding the probe against Srinivasan's son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan - alleged to have betted in IPL matches despite being team principal of CSK - has also led to many questions. The BCCI supremo though continues to 'reign with an iron hand' and has gone on record saying he will not resign as he has not done anything wrong and that he is not an accused. However, after immense pressure from all quarters, he on June 2 agreed to step aside for a month till the BCCI inquiry into the scandal is over.

Describing himself as a relatively reserved person, Srinivasan may not be the most liked person in the Indian cricket circle but continues to be a person who has cemented his position in whatever field he has tried his hand in.
Story First Published: May 27, 2013 23:20 IST

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