Along with Australia’s opening batsmen, a special visitor also took guard at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, on Thursday, the first day of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. He is none other than Vinod Rai, who as chairman of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), is entrusted with the job of overseeing the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s operations by the Supreme Court. (DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS)
He has been part of couple of meetings of the CoA but for the first time he was being seen at a cricket stadium after taking over as the chief caretaker of cricket in India. Rai was taken around the venue by former BCCI secretary and Maharashtra Cricket Association President Ajay Shirke.
“Mr Rai had come to watch the match and had a round of the stadium. We didn’t have any other discussion. He liked the stadium and said it is a very good facility,” said Shrike, who was seen explaining the various facilities at the venue along with the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and other MCA officials.
“He wants to get a first-hand experience of the stadiums,” remarked a BCCI insider, who was present with him. “He will be visiting all the venues during the series.”
Rai’s team is proving to be tough taskmasters by trying to implement the Lodha Committee’s recommendations in toto. It is learnt that the CoA has issued another set of instructions to the state associations on Thursday for implementation.
The most hard done by are the officials who held various posts in the BCCI. But Shrike backed Rai’s committee to be more understanding of their point of view.
Answering to a question posed by HT as to what could be the way forward in this confusion. “The matter is in the court for a long, long time and the BCCI is now in the hands of administrators who have excellent credentials. I feel there is a very subtle shift in it, because now the implementers are not the Lodha Committee. Now there are a fresh set of minds and eyes who will be looking into the problem. I see a great hope in that,” said Shrike.
Asked how he has been dealing with the Supreme Court blow and if it had dampened his spirits on a day his dream of Pune hosting its first Test was fulfilled, Shirke said, “You could say that, but it doesn’t dampen anything in the long term.”
“The Board is undergoing a churning. While we are getting a Test match after a wait of almost 83 years, the Maharashtra Cricket Association is losing its membership. We have been full members for 83 years. We have to pause for a moment and think about it that we might be on the verge of losing our membership.”