The BCCI’s fight to stall the reforms recommended by the Supreme Court appointed Justice RM Lodha committee suffered a telling blow as veteran politician Sharad Pawar tendered his resignation from the president’s post of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
The former ICC and BCCI president is one of the biggest name in BCCI administration and he has stepped down adhering to the norm of age-cap of 70 years as prescribed by the Lodha panel stating that he is “hurt” by the perception that people stick around in BCCI as it is “lucrative”.
“The Supreme Court has taken a decision that officials above 70 years of age should not remain in cricket bodies. This decision is applicable to me. That is why I am resigning from the position of MCA president and I request you (secretary) to accept it,” the NCP supremo said in his resignation letter to MCA, submitted during the association’s Emergent Managing Committee meeting.
The MCA managing committee will meet soon to decide whether to accept it or not, said its joint secretary PV Shetty after another committee member, Vinod Deshpande, read out the resignation letter submitted by Pawar to the media.
Pawar was in his second innings as president of the MCA after being elected last year for a two-year term. He had been MCA’s president between 2001-02 and 2010-11.
In his letter to the MCA, Pawar said that he was “hurt” by the word “lucrative”, an observation by apex court to describe as to why people do not want to leave BCCI.
“While taking the decision regarding cricket, the Supreme Court has said that the officials should not be above 70 years of age and they have described these positions as “lucrative” which made me very sad and that’s why I don’t have any wish to work any more,” he wrote in the letter.
“In reality the positions are filled through democratic means. Since these appointments were happening through democratic means, I was happy to work in that position,” he said in the letter.
“During my term as MCA president, I did not take any allowance or get any financial benefit. I and my colleagues have given time and taken the entire responsibility for our work in the association. While building new facilities, we took care that the name of MCA will be taken with pride. The Supreme Court should have taken a note of this,” he wrote further in his resignation note.
Pawar in his letter did not forget to mention as to what he claimed to be his achievements in cricket administration.
“During my term, because of co-operation of all MCA members, we rebuilt the entire Wankhede Stadium, Cricket Centre (BCCI headquarters), the Sharad Pawar indoor cricket facility at Bandra Kurla Complex, the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana, club house and ground at Kandivli,” Pawar said in his letter.
“For the future planning of the association, we took a decision to keep fixed deposits in banks. To have independence to take decisions on cricket activities, we established a separate committee of known cricketers (Cricket Improvement Committee),” he added.
Pawar also noted the development that happened in the game around the country during his stint as the president of the Cricket Board.
“In my tenure as the BCCI chief, I took necessary decisions to provide sports facilities in different states. Likewise I helped in a small way with regard to providing pension for retired players and for (developing) women’s cricket.”
He said he was happy that India had successfully conducted the ODI World Cup during his tenure as ICC chief and also won the coveted title by winning the final held at the MCA’s Wankhede Stadium.
“During my tenure as ICC Chief, we conducted the 2011 ODI World Cup in India. We conducted the final in Mumbai and I am happy that India won it.”
Finally, Pawar has said that as a citizen of the country he was duty-bound to accept the apex court’s verdict and he was glad to abide by it without deliberating further on the issue.
“It’s the duty of every Indian to abide by the court’s decision. So without discussing it further I accept this decision and I am happy to comply with it.”
“Even if I have retired from the work of the association, I will always extend my co-operation for the game and the players,” he concluded.
The meeting was conveyed on the advice of Pawar to discuss the observations made by the Supreme Court on December 15 with respect to the status report filed by Justice R M Lodha Committee.