The BCCI Special General Meeting (SGM) in New Delhi on Friday approved the new compensation structure for Indian cricket but red-flagged the Committee of Administrators’ (CoA) appointment of the new anti-corruption (ACU) head, Ajit Singh. The general body also put Uttarakhand’s inclusion in the Ranji Trophy on hold. In another development, Aditya Verma, the petitioner in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scam, apologised to former BCCI president N Srinivasan for the legal battle that led to the cricket board’s overhaul through the appointment of the Lodha Committee. The Cricket Association of Bihar secretary didn’t attend the SGM but put a presentation before the start of the meeting.
“I told the house that if any of my action had hurt Mr Srinivasan, I’m sorry for that. I never wanted to tarnish the reputation of an administrator of his stature and repute. My fight wasn’t against any individual. I’m committed to the Indian cricket,” Verma told The Indian Express.
His petition eventually led to two years suspension of the Chennai Super Kings, and Rajasthan Royals, from the IPL and Srinivasan’s ouster from the cricket board. Then, the Lodha reforms, the majority of which was approved by the Supreme Court in its July 18, 2016 order, saw the BCCI go into an ongoing, protracted legal battle.
The SGM, meanwhile, decided that Neeraj Kumar would continue as the ACU head. “The members felt that the process to appoint the (new) ACU head wasn’t transparent. So the general body decided that Neeraj Kumar, the former Delhi Police Commissioner, will stay in the role. His term would be extended,” an East Zone association member, present at the SGM, told The Indian Express. This paper already reported that the SGM would disapprove the appointment of Singh, a former Director of General Police, Rajasthan.
The members okayed the new player contracts that saw the introduction of an ‘A+’ category because they didn’t want to keep the cricketers “in limbo”. As per the BCCI constitution, the new compensation structure needed the general body’s approval to be effective. And with the player contracts pending, the cricket board also couldn’t get the insurance done for the Indian team cricketers.
The BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary had refused to sign the new player contracts, announced by the CoA, because he wanted to wait for the SGM’s approval. “I follow the law and the law is laid out. I follow the law of the subject and I follow the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s orders. With this, I can only sign after I have the legitimate authority (general body’s approval). I will not delay one second; the moment I have the legitimate authority,” Choudhary told this paper.
Under the new compensation structure, five ‘A+’ category players get Rs 7 crore each per annum, while seven Grade A, seven Grade B and as many Grade C cricketers are on annual retainer fee of Rs 5 crore, Rs 3 crore and Rs 1 crore each respectively.
The general body, it is learnt, also decided to put Uttarakhand’s inclusion in the Ranji Trophy on hold. Earlier this week, the CoA decided to bring the state to the fold by setting up a ‘Consensus Committee’. “They have to prove they are good enough for the Ranji Trophy. First, they need to play some matches at lower level,” said a BCCI member.
As for the ICC’s decision to convert the 2021 Champions Trophy, the cricket board members decided for the new MPA to be circulated.