The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) finally cracked the whip on key figures in the conflict of interest issue during their annual general body meeting, and as a result a number of reforms were passed unanimously by its members on Monday.
As first reported by The Indian Express, N Srinivasan will no longer be the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman with BCCI members nominating Shashank Manohar’s name for ICC’s top post. Manohar will hold the ICC chairman’s post till June 2016 and in his absence Mumbai Cricket Association president Sharad Pawar will represent BCCI as the alternate.
The conflict of interest controversy had led to several problems within the board, starting with Srinivasan’s buying an IPL team, seen as the root cause of all the troubles BCCI found itself in. Since the time Manohar took over as the board chief, he had assured he would clean up Indian cricket and get rid of the tricky conflict of interest issue involving the last president. Srinivasan’s exit from the chairman’s post has ensured that the former board chief will not have any post in the BCCI.
The conflict of interest stipulations also claimed the seat of the South Zone selector Roger Binny who is now replaced by Andhra’s MSK Prasad. Roger’s son Stuart has been part of the Indian team and to avoid any further conflict of interest, the BCCI decided to ease him out of the South Zone selector’s post.
The board didn’t include Ravi Shastri in IPL’s governing council as he is the Indian team director, and a paid employee of the board. It will be the first time since IPL’s inception that Shastri will not be on the IPL GC. Anil Kumble too had to make way for former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who was appointed as BCCI technical committee chairman. BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur later said that Kumble’s omission was due to a specific conflict of interest. Kumble is part of Mumbai Indians since the past few years and the board has decided to not have him in any of their committees.
BCCI president Manohar later stated that all the members of the Board were unanimous in their approach and were interested in seeing that the board functions in the most transparent manner.
BCCI, in regards to conflict of interest, appointed justice AP Shah as Ombudsman, who will look into the complaints if any, with regards to conflict of interest.
When asked about Binny, Manohar said. “As I said that perception has to change. I said there should not be injustice on Stuart Binny also. If he is a deserving player he should not get flak from the media because he is Roger Binny’s son and is playing. We can’t destroy his career.”
The conflict of interest parameter will be decided by the Ombudsman. He will decide the issues and nobody else from the board would have a say in the matter of resolution. When asked whether Ganguly has been given a choice to pick between commentary and IPL GC, he said, “He is not doing commentary but he can pursue whatever profession he wants. The conflict would arise if he has a commercial interest in the Board because we can’t stop him from pursuing his profession. I am a lawyer and I can’t be told I should not practice. What can be told to me is I should not appear in Board cases.”
As per the amendment and reforms of the board, any member who is an employee of the board can’t be part of any committees in the BCCI. Rakesh Parikh, who was appointed as junior selector from West Zone on Monday, resigned from the vice-president’s post of Baroda Cricket Association. Whereas, MSK Prasad, who was looking after cricket operations in Andhra Cricket Association, too had to put in his papers few days back.
New Test venues
The board granted Test status to Pune, Vizag, Ranchi, Rajkot, Indore and Dharamsala. Looking at the low turn-outs in metro cities, the board had too look for alternative smaller venues. Manohar stated that next year the BCCI is going to have about 12 Test matches in India and each stadium has all the facilities of hosting international games.
Shukla stays IPL chairman
The IPL Governing Council will be headed by Rajeev Shukla. Jyotiraditya Scindia, M P Pandove, Ajay Shirke and Sourav Ganguly will be the other members of the IPL Governing Council.
Key decisions taken by the BCCI
* The meeting ‘in principle’ accepted the conflict of interest reforms. Further discussions on the suggestions made and doubts raised will be carried out over the next few months.
* The BCCI appointed AP Shah, a retired chief justice of the Delhi HC, as its first Ombudsman.
* The IPL governing council has been cut down from 23 members to 5 as of now. The committee will be formed by Rajeev Shukla, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Ajay Shirke, MP Pandove and Sourav Ganguly.
* Manohar said there would be “further deliberations” about the possibility of the induction of three independent members into the governing council, a suggestion he had made to the board.
* The India women’s team was awarded contracts for the first time in two grades – of Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 10 lakhs.
* Pune, Ranchi, Indore, Rajkot, Visakhapatnam and Dharamsala recieved Test status.
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