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Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI in state of flux

The BCCI’s attempt to dilute the Justice Lodha Committee reforms by making amendments to key clauses of the new constitution has been put on hold. In its AGM on Sunday, the key amendments set out in the AGM agenda were cooling off period affecting office-bearers, relaxing disqualification criteria as it hampers in nominating the best and most experienced person to the ICC, doing away with Supreme Court’s stamp of approval for amending the BCCI constitution, bestowing more powers to the secretary instead of the CEO and empowering office-bearers in running the day-to-day affairs of the BCCI.

It is understood that the proposed amendments were not even tabled in the AGM, fearing contempt of court. However, the BCCI members had no objections to the amendments. BCCI president Sourav Ganguly stressed that there are only “certain things” that the BCCI want amendments for. “Six are very few. That does not stop the running of the board,” he said.

NCA boss Rahul Dravid
NCA boss Rahul Dravid

It may not have stopped the functioning of the BCCI, but the conflict of interest rules have certainly prevented them from appointing the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which will appoint the selection committee. “We needed to get proper clarity from Justice DK Jain (BCCI ethics officer and ombudsman) on what is conflict and what is not conflict. Because we don’t want to appoint someone and then he cancels it like it has happened with us, the past two times and Kapil Dev and his team. So, those clarities were required,” said Ganguly, who expects the CAC to be formed within 10 days.

Hurdles for Dada
Ganguly reteriated that cricketers should be kept out of the conflict of interest ambit. “The conflict law stops everyone… A to Z it stops. It has got former cricketers, former administrators also. That’s why we can’t make the CAC, that’s why we can’t make proper selectors. “Like me, I can’t do anything. It has to be practical. Conflict should be only for someone like us, who are administrators,” said the former India captain.

Hyderabad Cricket Association chief Mohammed Azharuddin
Hyderabad Cricket Association chief Mohammed Azharuddin

Though Ganguly expressed satisfaction with the way MSK Prasad’s selection committee has performed their role, the BCCI chief was of the opinion to fix a term for the selectors, who have a five-year tenure in the new constitution as oppose to four years in the previous constitution.

He also hinted that there is no need to change the entire selection committee. “You cannot go beyond your tenure and all of them don’t finish, so majority of them stay and I think it should not be problem,” said Ganguly.

The BCCI will now approach the Supreme Court requesting to amend these contentious clauses. The BCCI case is listed for a hearing on December 3. BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said the amendments were on hold. “It is on hold, we have sought clarification, nothing else. There were some media reports that we wanted sweeping changes. If you go through that [points to be amended], there is some clarification that we have sought that will give us the way forward,” said Dhumal.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah arrive for the AGM at the BCCI Cricket Centre, Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Bipin Kokate
BCCI secretary Jay Shah arrive for the AGM at the BCCI Cricket Centre, Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pics/Bipin Kokate

‘Difficult to implement’
Ganguly clarified that they want to only highlight the practical difficulty in implementation. “From Day One, we have brought this to the notice of the court respectfully that certain things are difficult to implement; certain things are required for better running of administration and we have tried to do that. You have seen that the orders have been amended in the past which-ever way. “And just as every citizen has got the right, we have requested for better the administration and nothing else. It is a pray er, sought clarification,” Ganguly said.

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