New Zealand Cricket will vote for Indian industrialist Narayanaswami Srinivasan to become chairman of the International Cricket Council tomorrow in Melbourne, despite the Indian Supreme Court barring him from his duties as president of the Indian governing body, the BCCI.
Srinivasan is one of 13 people being investigated in relation to allegations of corrupt activities surrounding the Indian Premier League and the team he owns, the Chennai Super Kings.
Srinivasan has denied any wrongdoing and persuaded the ICC executive board, the BCCI and Supreme Court of India that allegations of major impropriety should not stop him taking the chairman role.
New Zealand's representative on the ICC board, Martin Snedden, said NZC's looked at the situation carefully and sought external advice before making a decision.
"I've done a lot of fact-digging," he told the Herald at Auckland Airport before leaving for the meeting this afternoon. "The Indian cricket environment is incredibly volatile, political and factionalised. There are two factions knocking heads: One headed by Srinivasan and one by [former IPL boss] Lalit Modi. Mr Modi's camp would love to see Mr Srinivasan knocked off his perch so Mr Modi could regain some of the power he had a few years ago. The Indian Supreme Court has received the allegations and said 'we'll investigate but don't take any false inferences out of that'."
Snedden said the BCCI's suspension of Srinivasan as their president does not relate to the ICC scenario.
"There was a conflict of interest because the investigations related to his son-in-law [and Chennai Super Kings team principal Gurunath Meiyappan over bets placed on matches through inside information]. Mr Srinivasan said 'okay, I'll step aside'. Three times the Supreme Court has been asked to exclude him from ICC affairs and each time they've said 'no, it's not our business so we won't interfere'. That alone is a tool to guide us. No-one knows what the allegations are because they're under the Supreme Court seal and they don't want to risk damaging innocent people's reputations.
"It's the highest court in India; it's not like anyone can point the finger and say it's a shonky investigation. Ultimately they'll drive that to a conclusion, the findings will be made public and the ICC will have to deal with what comes out of it. At least then we'll be dealing with something concrete and factual, otherwise we're chasing shadows. That's not fair on Mr Srinivasan and it's not good process."