Sweeping reforms to revive its battered image, including the appointment of an ombudsman, and a decision on former chief N Srinivasan’s future as ICC chairman will dominate the agenda when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) holds its 85th Annual General Meeting in Mumbai on Monday.
Appointment of the ombudsman, or Ethics Officer, is one of the key changes that have been proposed in the BCCI’s Memorandum of Rules and Regulations to be taken up at the AGM. With the soon-to-be-delivered recommendations over governance reforms by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee hanging over them, the Board members are all set to clear the way for this pathbreaking move which was announced by Shashank Manohar after being re-elected as the BCCI president last month.
The ombudsman will be appointed “to deal with the complaints of Conflict of Interest and any act of indiscipline or misconduct or violation of any of the rules and regulations of the Board by an administrator,” as per the wordings of the clause that has been proposed to be taken up at the AGM.
The AGM, which was postponed by more than a month from its normal late September date, is expected to put in place strict compliance protocols to the conflict of interest regulations in the wake of the Supreme Court’s cracking of the whip on this matter.
But Manohar will need all his negotiating skills as a practising lawyer to get it passed without diluting the reach and scope of the conflict of interest Clause.
It will be interesting to see whether the BCCI general body will decide to retain its former president and Tamil Nadu strongman N Srinivasan as its representative on the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the chairman.
There have been news reports recently that BCCI would change its nomination vis-a-vis the ICC and name Manohar as the new chairman till the next Annual Conference of the world governing body in June when the Indian board-nominated person’s term comes to an end.
Srinivasan is not scheduled to attend the AGM and the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association is to be represented by VP PS Raman. If the BCCI decides to change his name in favour of Manohar to be forwarded to the ICC, it will mark a complete end to Srinivasan’s hold in the Board.
Another important change in the proposed clauses is about the BCCI president approving every team picked by the national selection panel.
The existing clause says that the president “shall approve the composition of the team selected by the Selection Committee”, while the proposed clause reads,”The President, along with the Office Bearers, shall approve the composition of a team selected by the National Selection Committee from time to time.”