As 112 cricket club secretaries throng the Ferozeshah Kotla on Tuesday to elect the DDCA Sports Committee, they would once again be fooled by the false promises of different contestants belonging to the Vinod Tihara-led group and the Ashok Sharma-led United Front.
The promises could range from handing out contracts for apparel, kit bags, transport, catering and, above all, the selection of club players to various Delhi teams. HT takes a look at what is at stake:
Selecting the 'chosen one'
The first thing the Sports Committee does after winning the elections is to recommend the selection panel along with various other lucrative posts (managers and coaches) to the executive committee. Despite promises to appoint only first-class players as selectors before the elections, only those who promise to favour the wards of the Sports Committee members are appointed.
Last season, when one of the "favourite offie" was dropped from the Ranji squad, the Sports Committee virtually came to a standstill as its convener — the father of the off-spinner concerned —– made himself unavailable.
Favouritism in contracts
Contrary to promises made to different club secretaries, only a few powerful Sports Committee members close to the DDCA top brass have managed to grab all the top contracts over the last few years.
Telling a lie
Some of the DDCA top bosses have been seen calling up voters of a particular group in the run-up to the elections. One such example was the distribution of Rs 25,000 cheques to all the Delhi cricket clubs on the eve of the Sports Committee elections. Though the money came from the BCCI and DDCA’s Executive Committee passed it on to the clubs, the impression given was that the current Sports Committee had given it.
“This happens because our annual award function and the elections coincide every year. But from next year, we will change the dates of the Sports Committee elections to around January or February to avoid any such clash,” said DDCA general secretary Sneh Bansal on Monday.
Though the Tihara group has been sweeping elections for the last three years, he is likely to face stiff competition this time around with some of his supporters changing flanks. “During Tihara group’s regime, cricket-related activities suffered the most. DDCA league and funds were grossly misused. Since they have no plans, we have formed the United Front to bring accountability," said a senior DDCA member, NC Bakshi. Even though United Front may find it difficult to clean up the system, it is at least promising transparency.