New Delhi: Indian cricket board president N Srinivasan hinted that the board's constitution gives him the power to approve any decision of the national selectors, including that on the captain and dropped hints that he may have stopped Mahendra Singh Dhoni from getting sacked after he came under under pressure losing eight successive Tests.
Asked about the accuracy of reports that selectors were under pressure to sack Dhoni after India lost four Tests in England and another four in Australia, but stayed as captain only after Srinivasan's backing, Srinivasan said "it is not proper to discuss selection matters. The constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) does say that the president has to approve the national team."
When asked that does he have the last word as BCCI president, he said, "That's what the constitution of the BCCI says."
Asked whether Dhoni should choose to drop the shorter versions of the game format, as suggested by some experts including former captain Rahul Dravid, Srinivasan said it is for the selectors to take the call.
"The selectors are there to take a call. We have an experienced group of selectors. It is for them to decide. But personally I feel that Dhoni is discharging the duties (captaining in all three formats) well," he said.
Former India selector Mohinder Amarnath had claimed that the last selection committee headed by Kris Srikkanth unanimously agreed to sack Dhoni after the team's whitewash in England and Australia. But Srinivasan reportedly didn't approve the move.
Asked if he spoke to Dhoni when the team was going through a tough phase, Srinivasan said: "All the Indian players are aware that the board is behind them. The BCCI has given confidence to the players that they should play their game. We will watch their back."
Srinivasan said Dhoni is very experienced captain and given the glorious uncertainties of the game he has sailed the team well.
"During this season, his innings against England and the double hundred against Australia were game changers. He has always been an outstanding player. He gave us two World Cups. He is very experienced captain. Everybody will agree that given the glorious uncertainties of cricket Dhoni has sailed well," he said.
Dhoni who captains Srinivasan-owned Chennai Super Kings is now also the vice-president of a Chennai-based corporate.