Until now, whenever ousted as a powerful member of the cricket board’s working committee, administrators confine themselves to governing their state body as they plot a return at the opportune time.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday to implement the ‘one person-one post’ rule among a slew of measures recommended by the Justice Lodha committee has put a spanner in the works of this oft-followed ‘tradition’ in Indian cricket’s officialdom.
The ruling means a BCCI office-bearer cannot simultaneously be an executive member in any state unit. For example, BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, they also head the Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra units respectively, will have to choose between the two posts.
Vice-president Rajeev Shukla too will also have to recuse himself from dual responsibilities. He heads the Uttar Pradesh association and is chairman of the IPL Governing Council. BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Choudhary (Jharkhand association) and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry (Haryana) will also be affected by the ‘one-man-one-vote’ regulation.
It remains to be seen whether it also affects former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president, the board’s technical committee chairman and is also a member of the IPL Governing Council.
If this rule is implemented in its current form, all these high-profile administrators may be able to retain only one of the posts they hold.
Shirke said on Monday that he would give up his post as MCA president.
“I have always said I have no fascination for designations. If somebody wants, they can take away both posts from me. But if you ask me, I feel at this juncture the board (BCCI) needs me more than my state association. I am a person who will not run away from my responsibilities unless the members ask me to,” he said.
The clause is likely to have a far-reaching effect on the way administrative politics has taken shape in the BCCI.
DOLING OUT FAVOURS
The ruling aims to weed out any possibility of favours being done to the home associations of individuals in power. In the past, venues of high-profile matches have invariably been awarded to state associations of top BCCI office-bearers.
The SC’s decision to also implement the recommendation that restricts the terms of office-bearers of the BCCI and affiliated units to three years, and just two years for the president, further complicates matters for these high-profile office-bearers.
After these terms, if these officials wish to continue in the state bodies, they will have to again stand for election.
“It is a new reality that members will have to bring their heads around to. I don’t see a way around it, and all office-bearers will have to give up their post in the state association. However, some might even choose their seat in the state bodies than stay on in the BCCI. The coming few days should give a clearer picture,” a senior BCCI official told HT.
“Some members have spent years building a base for themselves in their state. There are a few who use it for political gains. It will be a difficult decision for them to part ways with these associations.”
Thakur became HPCA president at the age of 25. According to the new terms set by the Lodha committee, he has exhausted his tenure of two years, and will have to vacate the post. Shirke has been MCA president since 2005.