Chennai: Given their association that has grown from strength to strength over the last decade, India ODI skipper M.S. Dhoni’s breakfast meeting with former BCCI chief N. Srinivasan at the latter’s residence in the city on Friday was only customary, but the current circumstances have given it a twist.
India Cements Limited’s managing director Srinivasan, who was earlier the owner of the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings, had to disassociate himself from the Dhoni-led side due to conflict of interest. And only a week ago, the BCCI decided to adhere to the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee’s recommendation of suspending CSK for two years after Gurunath Meiyappan, an official of the IPL team, was found to have been involved in betting.
A Tamil Nadu Cricket Association official who was present during the meet maintained that it was just a “courtesy call between an India Cements Ltd. employee and its MD.”
“He has been a vice-president of ICL for long and the meeting was just personal. They didn’t discuss anything about the game including the suspension of Chennai Super Kings” the official added.
The meeting has already invited criticism from some quarters. Petitioner in the IPL spot-fixing case, Aditya Verma, said the meeting should have been avoided. “Today I am shocked to see a channel showing that you (Dhoni) went to visit Srini’s house for breakfast. Legally there’s no bar but being a captain of Team India you can avoid a visit to his home,” Verma wrote in his letter to Dhoni.
“Earlier you have faced criticism when you gave a statement to Mudgal committee about Guru’s role in CSK. Everybody knows that who pressurised you to give your statement regarding Guru’s role in CSK. Lastly Lodha committee banned Gurunath for life due to conflict of interest of Srinivasan in BCCI and CSK.
“Hon’ble Supreme Court ousted Srinivasan from BCCI in his order dated 22.01.2015. You are the captain of national team at present. When lodha committee report is awaited, your visit to ex-CSK owner’s home is a giving wrong message to sports world. Nobody is above the law, so don’t repeat such silly things again for the sake of BCCI...” he wrote.