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Explained: Indian cricket’s political pitch

Most of the 27 cricket units that make up the BCCI have powerful politicians in position of power, with almost all of them effortlessly switching roles.

By: Express News Service |
Updated: June 19, 2015 10:42:23 am
lalit modi, sushma-lalitrow, lalit sushma row, lalit modi controversy, ipl, Lalit Modi controversy, indian cricket, BCCI, Amit Shah, Gujarat Cricket Association, Amit Shah GCA, Sharad Pawar, Sharad Pawar Mumbai Cricket Association, Mumbai Cricket Association, Rajeev Shukla BCCI, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arun Jaitley DDCA, sports news, cricket news, indian express As the Lalit Modi controversy has shown, cricket and politics make for an easy blend. (Source: C R Sasikumar)

As the Lalit Modi controversy has shown, cricket and politics make for an easy blend. Most of the 27 cricket units that make up the BCCI have powerful politicians in position of power, with almost all of them effortlessly switching roles. Some quick running between the wickets that!

Amit Shah, Gujarat
In June last year, BJP president Amit Shah took over as president of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) from Narendra Modi who had just been elected the country’s Prime Minister. Modi had until then controlled GCA — he took over in 2009 — while being chief minister of Gujarat. Soon after Shah became GCA president, he was also named BJP president.

Sharad Pawar, Mumbai
On Wednesday (June 17), NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who has been chief of the Mumbai Cricket Association before, defeated Vijay Patil, the Shiv Sena- backed candidate, to become president once again.

Rajeev Shukla, Uttar Pradesh
Congress MP and IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla also controls the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association as its secretary. Vice-president of BCCI thrice, Shukla cut across different factions of the BCCI in April as he was made IPL chairman again.

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Jyotiraditya Scindia, MP
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia is chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association. In March this year, he contested the BCCI elections for the post of central zone vice-president but lost to CK Khanna. However, a month later, he was appointed head of the BCCI’s finance committee.

Farooq Abdullah, J&K
Former chief minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah is president of the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association and is currently embroiled in a court case over alleged misappropriation of funds. Last month, the J&K High Court issued a notice to Abdullah based on a PIL filed by former state Ranji team player Majid Yaqoob Dar and club cricketer Nisar Ahmad Khan.

Arun Jaitley, Delhi
After long years as president of the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA), Arun Jaitley made way for Sneh Bansal. That was towards the end of 2013, a few months before the BJP came to power and Jaitley was named Finance Minister. The BJP leader, however, is often consulted by both DDCA and BCCI members. He remains the go-to man whenever there is a crisis.

Anurag Thakur, HP
Anurag Thakur, youth-wing president of the BJP and Member of Parliament from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, is president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association and also BCCI secretary.

Amin Pathan, Rajasthan
The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) is split between two groups, one led by Lalit Modi and the other by the BJP’s state minority wing chief Amin Pathan. In March this year, its offices were sealed on court orders. Pathan has the backing of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who is said to have looked the other way when Pathan, in an emergency meeting, removed Modi as RCA president last year.

Amitabh Chaudhary, Jharkhand
Jharkhand Cricket Association president Amitabh Chaudhary joined the BJP in October 2014. Chaudhary, a former additional DGP, had contested the Lok Sabha election on a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ticket and lost.

Gokaraju Ganga Raju, Andhra Pradesh
Secretary of the Andhra Cricket Association, Gokaraju Ganga Raju is BJP MP from Narsapuram in Andhra Pradesh. He is also the ‘all-India vice-president’ of the VHP.

Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, Baroda
Baroda Cricket Association president Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, the erstwhile ‘maharaja’ of Vadodara, is known to have the BJP’s backing. His mother, Shubhangini Gaekwad, had proposed Narendra Modi’s candidature when he contested the Vadodara seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election. In 2013, Samarjitsinh defeated his rival, pharma baron Chirayu Amin, to win the BCA elections.

Shekar Salkar, Goa
Goa Cricket Association president Shekar Salkar, an oncologist, is considered close to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. The cricket body is set to go to the polls on June 28 with former secretary Chetan Desai ready to contest against Salkar for the post of president.

Ranjib Biswal, Orissa
President of the state cricket body, Ranjib Biswal is Congress Rajya Sabha member and son of late Congress leader Basant Biswal. A cricketer at the youth-level, he represented India in the 1988 U-19 World Cup and led India to a win in the Youth Asia Cup in ’89.

Anirudh Chaudhary, Haryana
The Haryana Cricket Association is headed by Anirudh Chaudhary, grandson of former Haryana Chief Minister Bansi Lal and son of former BCCI chief Ranbir Mahendra.

Compiled by Sports Bureau

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