N Srinivasan’s daughter, Niranjan Shah’s son elected to top state posts

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As things stand, Rupa is going to be elected unopposed. R Ramaswamy from Salem is set to become the new secretary. (Representational Image)

Shared News| Updated: September 23, 2019 9:31:39 am
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) executive committee on Sunday unanimously approved N Srinivasan’s daughter Rupa Gurunath’s candidature for the post of the president of the body. The TNCA is going to hold its annual general meeting on September 26, while deadline for filing nominations is September 25, 5 pm. As things stand, Rupa is going to be elected unopposed. R Ramaswamy from Salem is set to become the new secretary.

Rupa would be the first female president of a state cricket association. The TNCA ruling faction, though, prefered to wait before making a formal announcement. “Actually, we will have to wait till September 25 evening, 5 o’clock, because there’s time for anybody to file. We are confident that she will be elected unopposed. Our executive committee comprising 26 members unanimously approved her candidature,” a TNCA functionary told The Indian Express. The TNCA had earlier decided to hold its executive committee meeting on September 23. But they advanced it by a day, because some senior members wouldn’t have been available on Monday. Sources said, out of 182 voting members of the TNCA – 150 clubs and 32 districts – the ruling faction has the support of around 150 member units. So it’s very unlikely that the rival faction led by former BCCI president AC Muthiah can mount a challenge, at least for the top posts.

It is learnt that the decision to nominate Rupa for the TNCA president’s post was taken about a couple of months ago. There was one issue though – her husband Gurunath Meiyappan, a former Chennai Super Kings official, was banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in betting during the 2013 IPL. “Legally it was never an issue. And it was left to the members to decide. The members wanted her to become the president,” said a state association insider.

Rupa is not new to cricket. Her father’s company, India Cements, has 15 clubs in the Chennai league and Rupa is the secretary of one of those clubs. She has attended CSK’s IPL matches as well.

Her rise to the post of president will ensure the continuation of the family rule in the state body. Srinivasan, a former BCCI and ICC president, helmed the TNCA for a decade-and-a-half before stepping down, as the Supreme Court accepted the majority of the Lodha Committee recommendations – the 2013 IPL spot-fixing and betting scandal triggered the reforms – on July 18, 2016. On Friday, the apex court allowed the TNCA to go ahead with its elections with a rider that the election results would be subject to the final order of the court.

Srinivasan is above 70 years of age and he has completed nine years as an office-bearer. That made him ‘ineligible’ to continue as a cricket administrator. But with her daughter set to become the TNCA chief, it is widely believed that the state association will remain under his control. On Saturday, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA), too, ensured that the dynastic reign would be in place, as former secretary Niranjan Shah’s son Jaydev was elected unopposed as the state association president. Like Srinivasan, Niranjan – who held the post of the SCA secretary for over four decades and also served as a BCCI secretary – was ‘ineligible’ on all counts as per the BCCI constitution, in accordance with the Lodha reforms.

At the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, former BCCI president Anurag Thakur’s brother Arun is going to take charge from September 27. Anurag, who serves as a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs in the Union government, is ‘ineligible’ because he holds public office. This paper understands that some senior members in both the TNCA and SCA were ruled out because they had to serve a three-year cooling-off period.

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