New directive from administrators clips Board secretary’s powers
The Committee of Administrators (CoA) running cricket in India has revoked the right of the board’s general secretary to convene meetings of the selection committee.
Headed by Vinod Rai, the CoA has cited the new constitution of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) while issuing this directive, one which could sour relations between the selection committee and the board’s office-bearers.
Till now, the BCCI secretary would convene selection meetings. Coming just before India squads for the tour of the West Indies are announced --- meaning a selection committee meeting that would have to deal with potential pain points of MS Dhoni’s future and whether skipper Virat Kohli would be available for the full tour --- this directive is based on recommendations of the Justice Lodha panel.
The recommendations are the basis of the new constitution which stipulates that cricket matters be dealt by cricketers only.
“In the old Memorandum & Rules and Regulations of the BCCI there was a specific provision viz. Rule 13(b)(7) which expressly empowered the Honorary Secretary to convene and attend meetings of the Selection Committee. There is no such provision under the New BCCI Constitution,” states the CoA directive.
“The Hon. Secretary is not part of the management either for cricketing or non-cricketing matters under new BCCI constitution.” Amitabh Chaudhary is the BCCI secretary now.
“Except on overseas tours, the chairpersons of the respective selection committees shall convene the meetings of the selection committees.... the chairpersons of the respective selection committees or administrative manager (in case of overseas tour) shall prepare true and accurate minutes of every meeting,” says the CoA.
The CoA felt that the secretary is not required as the official has no say in matters pertaining to selection.
The secretary’s role comprised noting the minutes and submitting reports and updates on injuries and other disciplinary matters from the board. That apart, and as mentioned by the CoA, the secretary would approve (on email) any change or replacement in the team. The secretary would also okay travel arrangements and decide on selectors’ match postings.
The CoA directive has taken those rights away. “The selection committee does not need any approval either from the Hon. Secretary or the CEO (of BCCI) in relation to any selection made or change or replacement in the team... the CEO will make the travel arrangement and other arrangements required for travel and posting of selectors to watch and attend cricket matches and emails in this regard shall be addressed to the CEO.”
“Why has this decision come about now and just before a tour? What was the CoA doing for the last one year? Why didn’t it implement it earlier? Also, they don’t call the office-bearers like secretary to important meetings even though they are members of the Apex Council,” said a BCCI official who did not want to be named. The official was referring to the time between this directive and the new constitution which was passed in August, 2018.
There is speculation over whether top players would be rested even though a similar tour after the 2017 Champions Trophy saw all the top players make the trip. The two-Test series will see a full-strength team, including captain Virat Kohli and pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, as it is part of the world Test championship.
It will also have to be seen whether any one or all of Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer are part of the tour.
The selectors had to deal with injuries to Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar during the World Cup with their replacements raising eyebrows as they weren’t deemed like for like.