States say no to vote for cricketers

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |

Published: October 31, 2018 3:54:50 am

Defying Lodha reforms, BCCI units keep internationals players away; apex body norms too violated. The Committee of Administrators submitted their 10th status report this week.

Giving voting rights to international cricketers and the formation of the 9-member Apex Council as per the Lodha Committee recommendation, happen to be the two clauses that fail to find a place in the updated constitutions submitted by the BCCI’s state unit to the Committee of Administrators.

In its 10th status report submitted before the Supreme Court on October 28, the Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by Vinod Rai has sought directions from the court with regard to giving the “errant” associations “seven days” to fall in line. Else, they will lose their voting rights and will become the non-voting members of the BCCI.

This comes after the Supreme Court approved the new BCCI constitution, directing the member bodies to undertake the registration of their respective constitution, “on similar lines”.

The CoA has taken a dim view of the non-compliance. “Every association is fighting shy to give voting right to all international cricketers. It is because the guys will be needed to give a vote. This will mean international cricketers will not be playing to their tune. This was one of the suggestions given by the Lodha Committee, but these guys didn’t accept,” said a source close to the CoA.

As for the constitution of the nine-member Apex Council, it is learnt that barring half-a-dozen units, almost all state associations have gone for an Apex Council, which is larger than nine. Some state bodies like Jharkhand, for example, have tried to get around the clause by having a nine-member Apex Council and then a 13-member ‘super body’ on top of it.

The CoA status report classified the state associations in three categories – non-compliant (seven members), partially compliant (10 members) and substantially compliant (17 members) – based on their level of compliance to the Lodha reforms. And not only Jharkhand, a lot of other state units, including high-profile associations like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, too, have deviated on the issue.

The majority of the state associations hold the view that their respective amended constitutions “can’t be identical to” the BCCI constitution, as they all have different administrative and organisational structures. The Mumbai Cricket Association, for example, have the biggest number of former international cricketers and their inclusion as voting members might seriously affect the institutional voting structure of the organisation. The CoA, however, is firm that the BCCI members can’t tinker with the basic principles of the Lodha reforms.

“The CoA agrees to the fact that there’s no need for the associations to have uniformity… They can follow Companies Act, Trust, or Societies. All they need to have a common template. It should mirror the BCCI constitution. Justice Lodha has said we don’t want to make any fundamental change in the constitution. The suggestions need to be incorporated,” said the source.

The CoA is also willing to take a considerate view on certain clauses for the North-Eastern states, with an eye to some practical problems. “North-East, all of them are willing to follow reforms but they have a few practical problems. Like, they can’t have selectors with three years experience. The Committee will start guiding them… And those who are partially compliant will become compliant, since they have been approaching the CoA.”

Recreational clubs

It is learnt that the CoA is also of the view that the recreational clubs that have voting rights in some state units, should no longer enjoy the voting member status. According to the Committee, in a cricket body only cricket clubs should have the eligibility to vote.

Forensic audit

The CoA status report mentioned that the due diligence reports submitted by various audit firms prima facie showed “instances of malfeasance and misfeasance” in certain state associations. Accordingly, the CoA has requested the Supreme Court to issue direction to constitute a separate committee to commission a forensic audit of each state association so that “appropriate systems and control” can be put in place with regard to the utilisation of the BCCI funds.

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