The Committee of Administrators that drove the clean-up act in the Board of Control for Cricket in India starts it last month in office. The majority of the State cricket associations have “complied to the recommendations” made by the Lodha Committee and adopted the “new constitution” recommended by the Supreme Court of India. The constitutional obligations are “fulfilled”. The legal hurdles are cleared. The defined rules are “followed”.
Does that mean the Indian cricket is clean of all the malice Lodha Committee had unearthed in age-old system of governance that had allowed a certain set of people to acquire unfettered powers to run the offices and administer the sport as personal empires.
Is Indian cricket free from the administrative control of the Srinivasans, Thakurs or Shahs? Are the “tainted” people out of cricket administration in India? The answers will have more noes than yeses.
Except for the faces up front nothing seems to have changed in the States, which were compelled to adopt the new BCCI constitution and conduct their elections to qualify for the national body’s poll procedure slated for October 23.
The bigwigs who had opposed the reforms process tooth and nail at all possible level and forum in at least three States have retained the “remote control” in their hands by managing to keep the control within the family. The power is retained without defying the law. The law is not broken, but undoubtedly stretched to breakable limits to ensure that nothing changes for all practical purposes. It stays all in the family of at least two former BCCI presidents and one former board secretary.
Elsewhere other issues highlight the mess is certainly not cleaned-up. The entire exercise seems to have achieved precious litte.
TAMIL NADU CRICKET ASSOCIATION
President-elect Rupa Gurunath is the daughter of former BCCI president N Srinivasan. The fact that she faced no opposition for the TNCA president’s post establishes beyond doubt the absolute control India Cement’s boss Srinivasan enjoys in Tamil Nadu cricket. Besides owning the Indian Premier League side Chennai Super Kings, Srinivasan also controls most of the local cricket clubs in Chennai.
Rupa’s husband Gurunath Meiyappan is banned from all cricket activities for his role in betting and spot fixing, which also led to a two-year ban on the CSK.
HIMACHAL PRADESH CRICKET ASSOCIATION
Former BCCI president Anurag Thakur’s brother Arun Dhumal, son of former State Chief Minister Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, has been elected the HPCA boss. The outcome of the HPCA polls is reportedly determined by Thakur’s strong position in the State cricket administration. India’s Minister of State for Finance, who had to made an unceremonious exit from the BCCI president’s office after submitting an unconditional apology for furnishing a false affidavit in the Supreme Court.
SAURASHTRA CRICKET ASSOCIATION
Former BCCI secretary and veteran cricket administrator Nirajan Shah is barred from all BCCI offices on the age and tenure clause for having attained the age of 70. His son and former Saurashtra cricket team captain Jaydev Shah is elected the State cricket body president.
DELHI AND DISTRICT CRICKET ASSOCIATION
Cricket governing body in the national Capital at least is clean on the count of nepotism. But the mess within appears much bigger. DDCA President Rajat Sharma is accused by his own elected directors of defying the BCCI and State Body’s constitution. The President and rival faction have spent more time in the corridors of judiciary over allegations and counter allegations than being in the board room for good governance and betterment of the sport.
One of the DDCA directors Sanjay Bhardwaj has submitted a petition against the president with the Company Law Board Tribunal, for defying the body’s constitution on various counts, while secretary Vinod Tihara has filed a similar complaint with BCCI’s Committee of Administrators. The prevailing scenario might lead to DDCA’s elimination form the BCCI election process.
HYDERABAD CRICKET ASSOCIATION
Former India president Mohammad Azharuddin is elected the HPCA president with an impressive majority. Even as he has got some relief from the State High Court on technical ground, the former Team India captain’s life ban in connection with the match-fixing saga has not yet been lifted fully. Although, Azharuddin in between has also served a Congress term as a Lok Sabha MP.
CRICKET ASSOCIATION OF BENGAL
Former BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya’s son Avishek is the secretary of the CAB, Sourav Ganguly returns as president in spite of numerous conflict of interest issues. The former India captain’s cousin Debashish Ganguly is the treasure and eleder brother and former Bengal Ranji Trophy captain Snehashish Ganguly is repoted poised for a lucrative position in the CAB.
As reports of BCCI State odies’ elections come in, it appears a little has changed in terms of control of power. The effect of the clean-up act nothing more than cosmetic. In a majority of State units nepotism continues to prevail. At some other places, there are people who have faced action of bringing the game to disrepute and yet another State cricket association claim of being the Lodha Committee- and Supreme Court recommended reforms-compliant are challenged by its own elected members.