In spite of all the controversies, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is here to stay. But interestingly, no official in the BCCI or its associations is keen on taking over as the chairman of the high-profile league.
“There’s a beeline for IPL governing council posts, but no one wants to be in the chair,” a source said. And with the BCCI’s annual general body meeting (AGM) two days away, there aren’t many names doing the rounds.
As of now, Haryana Cricket Association boss Anirudh Chaudhry is said to be likely to take over from Rajeev Shukla. Chaudhry, who is the son of former BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra, is a criminal lawyer and part of the board’s young brigade.
Not too long, the IPL chairmanship was among the most sought-after positions in the BCCI. Lalit Modi occupied the hot seat for three seasons before he was suspended after the final of the 2010 edition. He was, of course, expelled from the BCCI and banned for life on Wednesday.
Chirayu. Amin, a high-profile industrialist — he is the chairman and managing director of pharma major Alembic — and cricket official from Vadodara, held the post for a while before the BCCI turned to Union minister and Uttar Pradesh strongman Rajeev Shukla. He, too, quit after Sanjay Jagdale and Ajay Shirke put in their papers in the wake of the fixing scandal.
Meanwhile, Anirudh’s Twitter profile reads, “Lawyer, Proud Indian, Comics and Books’ ‘follower’ ;)! Sci-fi enthusiast. The Cricket Guy! BCCI, IPL Governing Council. Fascinated by rural India!”
“Chaudhry has been eyeing a top post for quite some time now. And the fact that no one else is keen on the IPL chairman’s job may work in his favour. But you can’t really predict these things. All these decisions will be taken the night before the AGM,” another insider said.
Many perceive IPL to be a problem child. Several arms of the government such as Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income-Tax department and the police forces of Delhi and Mumbai keep a watchful eye on the league.
The ED, for instance, has charged the BCCI/IPL with violations of foreign exchange to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore.
What’s more, it has said the board’s top brass was party to the same. “Every season, the IPL is mired in some controversy or the other. No one wants blood on their hands,” added the source.
The GC comprises Arun Jaitley, Chaudhry, Dr G Ganga Raju, Sajay Patel, Amitabh Choudhary, Ravi Shastri, MP Pandove.