Already under pressure from the ultimatum issued by the Supreme Court of India to fall in line and carry out reforms as recommended by the Lodha Committee, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been caught by surprise by the declaration of the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) to amend their constitution.
The Indian cricket board has been looking at various legal options to force the panel to relax some of their recommendations. However, with one of their state units saying they are fine with them will seriously weaken their argument in the court that some of the recommendations are impractical and hence can’t be implemented.
It’s also a serious setback in BCCI’s attempts to put up a united front to safeguard their interests.
Interestingly, implementing the recommendations will affect the VCA most as it stands to lose their voting right in the BCCI. The court order restricts one vote per state, which means only one among Vidarbha, Maharashtra and Mumbai will have voting rights.
That the reigning International Cricket Council (ICC) president Shashank Manohar hails from Vidarbha, only adds to the plot. The ICC president now does not hold any official position in the VCA but remains the most powerful voice in the state association.
VCA president Prakash Dixit had told HT on Monday that their current committee feels there’s no option but to follow the Supreme Court diktat, adding the final decision will depend on how their members vote during their upcoming Special General Meeting. SOUR RELATIONS However, it is expected to sour the relations between the ICC chairman and the BCCI further after a brief phase of mudslinging between the two over overseas broadcasting rights and funds released for World T20 and Champions Trophy.
Closer home, VCA could find itself isolated if the current BCCI officials manage to hold sway.
“It’s a straight fight between the BCCI and the VCA now,” said a senior BCCI member. “It’s clearly done with some vested interest. It’s another big show by the big man,” he added, taking a dig at Manohar.
“There is only a small chance that the BCCI succeeds in altering a few points, but if we succeed then we will see what will be VCA’s stand (on amending their constitution). At the moment, we want to remain focused on what we are doing and we are not affected by what any individual state unit feels.” IRONICAL The TNCA secretary Kashi Viswanathan said he was not aware of VCA’s move. According to him they will adhere to the stand agreed at an earlier BCCI meeting where by ‘in case any association has any issue with the Lodha reforms, they will convey it to the BCCI’. “The irony is that Shashank himself had advised all the BCCI members to bring the matter to the Board for anything related to SC,” said a member from the East Zone.
It’s learnt that the VCA were expected to walk out of the AGM held last week, but ultimately decided against doing it. There was confusion over whether the AGM was in contempt of the Supreme Court. When asked about VCA’s move, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke refused to comment.