The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Sunday (December 1) decided to dilute the administrative reforms mandated by the Supreme Court on tenure cap for its office-bearers.
The decision taken at the world’s richest cricketing body’s 88th Annual General Meeting seeks to clear the path for president and former captain Sourav Ganguly to get an extension at the end of his nine-month tenure. However, it will need the Supreme Court’s approval for the same.
“All the proposed amendments have been approved and will be forwarded to the Supreme Court,” a top official told PTI.
As per the current constitution, an office-bearer who has served two three-year terms, either at the BCCI or at the state association, goes into a compulsory three-year cooling-off period.
The current dispensation wants that period to kick in only after the individual has finished two terms (six years), at the board and state association separately. If passed with a three-fourth majority, it will effectively extend the tenure of Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah respectively.
Ganguly, who took charge on October 23, was to vacate office next year but a dilution could see him continue till 2024.
The Board also wants the court to keep out of future decisions on constitutional amendments and has proposed that a three-fourth majority at the AGM be enough to take a final call.
The officials believe it is not “practical” to take the Supreme Court’s approval for every amendment, which is currently a must as per the existing constitution.
Besides this, Shah was named Indias representative to attend future meetings of the International Cricket Councils (ICC) chief executives committee. In his early 30s, Shah, son of union home minister Amit Shah, will replace BCCI CEO Rahul Johri as the Board representative.
“Whenever the meeting takes place, Jay will go,” a top official said. Apart from this, the Board decided to defer the appointment of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC). “It will be done after the December 3 hearing in the Supreme Court,” an official said.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal on Saturday (November 30) told PTI that all the proposed amendments are aimed at strengthening the board’s structure and will only be incorporated once approved by the top court.
“We are not touching the 70-year age cap clause. With regards to the cooling-off, our point of view is if somebody has gained experience by running the state association, why give him a cooling-off. That experience should be utilised in the best interest of the game. If he can contribute in the BCCI, why not?” said Dhumal.
“We will take it (all passed amendments at the AGM) to the Supreme Court. We will put across our point of view. What are the practical difficulties we are facing with regards to a few things. In case the court agrees with our idea, then we will have those amendments,” he added.
After Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Ganguly stepped down from the CAC owing to the Conflict of Interest clause in the new constitution, Kapil Dev, Shantha Rangaswamy and Anshuman Gaekwad appointed the men’s team head coach.
Ravi Shastri got an extension for the top job. The CAC has been mired in controversies owing to allegations of conflict of interest, which prompted the three original members to resign. Both Rangaswamy and Gaekwad are now part of the apex council as representatives of the Indian Cricketers Association.
It is the CACs prerogative to appoint the selection committee. The Board also wants the court to keep out of future decisions on constitutional amendments and has proposed that a three-fourth majority at the AGM be enough to take a final call.
A new Ombudsman and Ethics Officer will also be appointed. The two roles are being performed by (retired) Justice D K Jain, whose term ends in February. The contentious issue of conflict of interest is also expected to be discussed at the AGM.
Ganguly has already said it is one of the most serious issues facing Indian cricket. Several past players have expressed unhappiness over the Conflict of Interest clause, which the CoA, in the last status report, wanted to be altered.
(With inputs from agencies)