The Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Tuesday said that the much-awaited elections of the BCCI will be held on October 22. The CoA, which was appointed by the Supreme Court in January 2017 to oversee the sweeping reforms recommended by the Lodha panel, announced the election date after due consultation with the apex court-appointed amicus curiae PS Narsimha. The Supreme Court had assigned Narsimha in March to mediate with various state associations which had 80 filed interim appeals.
In the meeting attended by all three CoA members – chief Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and Ravi Thodge – the deadline to hold state elections was set at September 14. Rai said 30 state associations have been rendered compliant and the rest are in the process of amending their constitution as per the Lodha reforms.
Asked about elections finally taking place in the BCCI, which has suffered from administrative crisis for more than two years, Rai said he was a happy man. “When I was appointed by the Honourable Supreme Court, I had said that my role will be of a night watchman and this night watchman has stayed for very long,” Rai told PTI in a lighter vein.
“We (CoA) are happy because our job was very specific. It was mandated to make them (the state associations) accept the constitution (as per Lodha recommendations). They (associations) had difficulties which was mediated between us, amicus and the court. We are happy to hand it over them.
“We sincerely believed a democratically run elected body should run cricket in the country,” added the former CAG.
Rai lauded amicus Narsimha’s role in dealing with the state associations.
“We gave a lot of status reports (10 in all) to Supreme Court. Supreme Court heard all the associations, then amicus was appointed by the Supreme Court to hold mediations.
“Amicus spent about 150 hours talking to all the state associations on clarifications which were sought. Ultimately, the state associations have come forward and accepted all the recommendations, about 30 odd have been rendered compliant.”
The strength of the apex council could be increased for the state units but in the BCCI, it will be limited to nine members as proposed.
“Of the main constitution only one concession has been recommended by the amicus in his report to SC and that was regarding the apex council.
“The apex council in state associations was supposed to mirror BCCI’s (nine members). They had practical difficulties because cricket is run in the state itself. They have players and ground committee and other committees. They indicated their difficulty to amicus.
“We jointly felt that we needed to increase this number and make it more flexible. Roughly it should be limited to 19 and in that three nominated members will also be there, 16 would be elected,” he added.
The Supreme Court had, in January 17, sacked BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, and asked other office-bearers who don’t meet the qualifications set by the court to be on the board to demit office or stand disqualified.
The CoA is finally ready with the terms of reference for the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), which will be provided to them after BCCI Ethics Officer DK Jain announces the verdict in the Conflict of Interest case.
However, with BCCI elections set to be held on October 22, the terms of reference will only be valid till that time. Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman are currently awaiting Jain’s verdict in the alleged Conflict of Interest case with all three having refuted the allegations.
One of the CAC members, Tendulkar had sought the terms of reference from the time the committee came into effect in 2015. The BCCI had an elected body till January, 2017, before the CoA came into existence.
Many in BCCI believe that MPCA member Sanjeev Gupta wouldn’t have been able to lodge a complaint had CoA not dilli-dallied with it. “The terms of reference is ready. Once Justice Jain gives his verdict, the three-member CAC will have it in writing. The Committee obviously will continue till BCCI AGM,” a senior BCCI functionary told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
He agreed that since last four years, Tendulkar had been asking for it. “I think when Anurag Thakur became the president, Sachin had sought clarification on his terms of reference. Now it’s two years of CoA and this mess happens.
“If he feels let down, you can’t blame Sachin. But let’s hope that all the confusion is cleared very soon,” the official said.
In case, the aggrieved trio decide to continue, they will have one more big assignment — interview of the senior national coach after the World Cup.