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BCCI’s units mull breaking away, not giving stadiums for games

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 07-01-2017
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In a last-ditch effort to create obstacles to the structural changes ordered by the Supreme Court, the ousted high-profile BCCI officials are planning an alarming final throw of the dice. One of the plans to be discussed at an ‘unofficial meeting’ in Bangalore on Saturday is to claim ownership of infrastructure in state associations, prevent matches from being held in the stadiums even if it means parting ways with the BCCI.

This in effect would mean that Indian cricket team won’t be allowed to play in India. Here is the plan in nutshell: Several stadiums which hold international matches are owned by state associations. By not allowing matches to be played, they would be breaking away from the BCCI but it would stir up enough chaos and drama and take the issue back to courts. “We will discuss it for sure and as it is our property we will not allow BCCI to hold any games there. Jyada se jyada we will not be part of BCCI. It’s fine with us, after all we all are gone,” a outgoing former association secretary, who would be attending the meeting, told The Indian Express. At least 24 of the 30 associations are likely to take part in the meeting and it would include N. Srinivasan, Ajay Shirke, Niranjan Shah, Anirudh Chaudhry, Amitabh Chaudhary, Niranjan Shah, Brijesh Patel, T C Mathew, C K Khanna and K Gangaraju.

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It’s learnt that Cricket Club of India, which is set to host two practice matches of India A against England on 10th and 12th January, was pressurised to not host the games though they couldn’t be persuaded. The meeting will also discuss whether to host England for three ODIs and three T20s as under Lodha committee’s guidelines, those who have competed nine years in office — in state associations or in BCCI — are disqualified from holding any post. The associations say they are left without any members who can take decisions to plan and conduct games.

Many state association have their own stadiums and many members feel as they have formed a particular state unit, they have full right to decide not to be part of BCCI.

Some of the state associations are registered under the societies act and have their own constitution and are ready to battle it out with the Supreme Court.

A top BCCI official said that the mood among top officials was combative. “It has reached the stage where state units are even planning to breakaway from the BCCI. The fact that it’s even being contemplated says a lot about the existing mood.” It remains to be seen whether officials end up taking these drastic steps.

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Shirke resigns from MCA post

After serving as the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president for a little over 10 years, Ajay Shirke, and other office-bearers of the MCA, stepped down following the association’s managing committee meeting on Friday.

Abhay Apte has been elected unopposed as the new president, assisted by Chandrakant Mate and Vijay Kumar Tamhane as vice-presidents, Riyaz Bagwan as secretary and Viksah Kakatkar taking the post of the treasurer. “As per the Supreme Court order, we have elected a new committee. I’m happy the new team has come over and taken over. The MCA is a trust. So an SGM was not required to form the new panel,” Shirke said.

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Confusion over convenor delays selection meeting

The BCCI selection committee meeting in Mumbai on Friday was delayed by close to three hours due to confusion over who should be the convenor and the proceedings began only after the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri received a written directive from the Lodha Committee.

An email from former BCCI joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary – “disqualified” following the Supreme Court’s January 2 and 3 orders – caused confusion. Choudhary wanted to attend the meeting because, according to him, the BCCI constitution authorises only secretary and joint-secretary to convene selection meetings. But as because he has served the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) as an office-bearer for over nine years, Johri sought clarification from the Lodha Committee about Choudhary’s eligibility. And the Committee confirmed that Choudhary was ineligible.

“Although Mr. Amitabh Choudhary has completed 9 years as on office bearer of a State Association, he has not completed 9 years as an office bearer of BCCI.

“In view of the above, please advise as to whether Mr. Amitabh Choudhary stands disqualified in terms of the order dated 2nd January 2017 read with the order dated 3rd January 2017 and whether we should go ahead with the selection committee meeting as per your earlier emails or act on the instructions of Mr. Amitabh Choudhary,” the BCCI CEO wrote to the Lodha panel secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan.

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