EVEN as Indian cricket mourns the loss of the most dynamic administrator to have held its reins, the passing away of the ailing Jagmohan Dalmiya has left the dynamics of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in a state of ambiguity.
Ideally, the solution to ‘what happens next?’ question on the vacant president’s chair would be a pretty straightforward one. According to the board’s constitution, the BCCI will have to call a special general body meeting in 15 days’ time. During this meeting, an East Zone representative (the late Dalmiya represented the Cricket Association of Bengal) will be elected, either unopposed or opposed, depending on the number of candidates and will subsequently take over as board president.
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If only things were that clear-cut and bereft of complications in the BCCI’s corridors of power.
For starters, it’s not necessary that only an East Zone representative has the opportunity to vie for the top post in the BCCI. Any of the state associations from the east (made up of Bengal, Orissa, Tripura, Assam, Jharkhand and National CC) could nominate a candidate from outside their zone. For example, the Orissa Cricket Association could well nominate Rajeev Shukla to be president or the Tripura Cricket Association could pick someone from West Zone. The president’s post would then be decided on the basis of votes.
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That’s not all. It’s a quandary that only gets more multifarious — and not in a good way — when you think about the many factions the board is riddled with.
Moreover, it’s still not clear whether the BCCI can even hold the special general body meeting, considering that less than a month ago the board had moved the Supreme Court seeking clarification over whether its former president N Srinivasan could attend the meeting. The board had cancelled its working committee meeting on August 28, which was scheduled to discuss the fate of suspended IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, after Srinivasan insisted on attending the meeting as representative of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA).
On a day that they bid adieu to the man who put the BCCI on the world map, it remains to be seen how the board manages to overcome the overwhelming uncertainty that clouds their offices with him being no more. And they know the world is watching.