Cricket is all about timing. However, in the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators seems not to be getting the timing right in all its moves.
The latest is a move to seek removal of the Indian Premier League Chairman Rajiv Shukla close on the heels of the start of an all-new IPL Season 2018. The CoA has recommended removal of the IPL Chairman along with the other three BCCI office-bearers – acting president, acting secretary, and acting treasurer – in the seventh Status Report.
Shukla’s one-year term as the IPL Commissioner was over in September 2017. It has not been renewed subsequently. Now, when there is less than a month for an all-new IPL season to start, the CoA is seeking removal of the league chairman.
The CoA has stated in the status report that the IPL chairman’s term has already ended on September 20, 2017 and there is a need to select fresh set of office-bearers. The COA has cited Rule 15 (i) of the BCCI constitution to enforce that the tenure of the office bearers elected during the AGM in 2015 has ended on March 1.
CoA, citing the Supreme Court’s order of January 2, 2017, in the status report has stated “if the respective terms of senior-most Vice-President and the Joint secretary have expired, they cannot continue to perform the duties of the President and Secretary respectively”. A senior BCCI official has questioned the CoA’s intention for not invoking the same order when the IPL Chairman’s term was over in September last and “all the serious business about the league was in progress”.
CoA was appointed as the watch dog for the BCCI governance to supervise day to day functioning of the board and ensure implementation of reforms recommended by the Supreme Court of India. “Can CoA answer how and why the (IPL) chairman is allowed to spearhead serious business like the player auction and other activities and contracts in run-up to the new season (of IPL) when he has already outlived the legitimate period of his tenure in office,” questioned a senior BCCI office-bearer seeking anonymity.
“This committee of administrators either knows nothing about the board constitution, or it has scant respect for it (BCCI constitution). They are not even aware of the basic fact that office-bearers terms are counted from AGM to AGM. You remove all office-bearers. Then tell me how will you ensure the democratic process of calling an AGM and electing new office bearers.
“AGM is not about finalising a date sitting in the board office and issue notice to all State bodies. You need to talk to all State associations,” said the official.
Meanwhile, the CoA and the BCCI office-bearer are seemingly on a warpath. The office-bearers are reportedly considering to move court against the CoA, while decisions on increasing the board CEO’s salaries and unilaterally finalising the players’ contracts are also being questioned.