Sharad Pawar slams "overzealous" CoA, says BCCI reforms may destroy cricket

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Sharad Pawar slams "overzealous" CoA, says BCCI reforms may destroy cricket

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SportsCafe Desk


Former BCCI president Sharad Pawar has opposed the newly drafted constitution for the BCCI stating that it could destroy the game itself. He has also asked the apex court to reconsider the one-state one-vote policy, which would prevent Mumbai Cricket Association from exercising their voting rights.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), led by Vinod Rai, submitted its draft of the new constitution to the Supreme Court, one that includes the acceptance of the Lodha reforms. But that met with a lot of opposition from BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, who suggested to the court that certain clauses of the Rules & Regulations should be deleted from the new constitution. 

The apex court had decided to look into the office-bearers’ suggestions and resume the hearing of the case on October 30. However, now with just three days before the hearing, former BCCI boss, Sharad Pawar, through an application to the Supreme Court of India, came out to oppose the Draft and stated that the constitution had gone much beyond the Lodha panel's recommendations.

Firstly, stating his credentials as an administrator, Pawar wrote, "The applicant, being a veteran cricket administrator, has played a pivotal role in developing and shaping cricket administration in the country. He is one of the people who has not only witnessed the rise of the board from its very humble beginnings but has played a significant role in its development. It was under his leadership that for the first time pension scheme for former players was introduced and women's cricket was brought under the board. The world's most successful tournament IPL was conceptualised during his tenure."

He further wrote, "Today, the BCCI finds itself in the eye of the storm mainly because it is the richest cricket body in the world, which has further led to a perception that its working lacks transparency and previous litigation involving issues of nepotism and conflict of interest (N Srinivasan-Gurunath Meiyappan case), which acted as a build-up to the present proceedings, have further strengthened the said perception."

Pawar, though, conceded there were some inherent deficiencies in the functioning of BCCI and stated that "some reformative steps were due to be taken to remove existing defects in the organisation to ensure transparency".

Earlier, SC had accepted the Lodha panel's 'one state one vote' recommendation and also asked the three bodies each in Maharashtra and Gujarat to enjoy voting rights on a rotation basis. If that happens, then Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), which has the most glorious history in the sport winning Ranji Trophy 41 times, will be relegated to an associate member of the board.

Pawar, who had stepped down as MCA president in 2016 after the SC accepted the Lodha committee's recommendation barring those above 70 years of cricket administration, asked the apex court to reconsider the case given Mumbai’s rich contribution to the development of the sport in the country.  

He highlighted, “Depriving MCA of voting rights in BCCI in the name of one-state one-vote would not help in infusing transparency in the functioning of the board.”

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