The Board of Control for Cricket in India has filed another petition in the Supreme Court regarding various amendments to the revamped constitution, the most significant among them allowing president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah to extend their terms.
Ganguly and Shah took over their roles in BCCI in October 2019 but it was reported that both were looking at only a short term in the board given the new cooling-off period that is mandated. With their tenures nearing the end, the governing body is now said to be anxious as the first petition was not heard by SC.
The BCCI has moved the SC with the viewpoint that, before serving the cooling-off period, office-bearers could continue to stay in the position for six years at one place - board or state association - AFTER being elected, ESPNCricinfo reported.
The new BCCI constitution, approved by SC, calls for a cooling-off period of three years for individuals who have serve two terms (six years) at a state association or in the BCCI, or a combination of both. Under that condition, Ganguly and Shah shall not be eligible to contest any further elections given their respective roles in Cricket Association of Bengal and Gujarat Cricket Association. Ganguly’s term ends this July while there is a lack of clarity over when Shah’s tenure started with GCA.
In the Annual General Meeting held by BCCI in December last year, the board is said to have approved a slew of amendments to the constitution — key among them: cooling-off period criteria, removal of SC as the final authority in future changes to be made and empowering the secretary.
The petition filed back then in the apex court is yet to be heard and the board has moved SC again with the terms of its top two officials nearing an end. In the latest petition, BCCI has argued that most cricket administrators in India spend time at the district and state associations before taking up roles in the board which makes the overall six-year term not feasible.
“The draft [constitution] was prepared by the persons who did not have the advantage and benefit of the ground level experience of functioning of this three tier structure in which the transition of cricket administrators is stage wise which is in the larger interest of the game of cricket,” the BCCI said in its latest petition according to the ESPNCricinfo report.
Meanwhile, Sanjeev Gupta, a life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, has challenged Ganguly’s continuation as BCCI president, reported The Hindu.
In an email to Ganguly and other officials on Sunday, Gupta has said that the BCCI rulebook disbars anyone from functioning as president once he has been nominated to the International Cricket Council Board.
Ganguly, by virtue of attending an ICC meeting on March 28, is said to have been included in the ICC Board as BCCI representative soon after. That is a requirement for an individual to be considered for the role of ICC’s independent chairman, a post which is soon to be vacated by Shashank Manohar and one for which Ganguly seems to have emerged as a contender.
Earlier in March, the original petitioner in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case Aditya Verma had said he will appeal to the SC to exempt Ganguly’s compulsory three-year cooling-off period.
“Being the original petitioner on whose PIL the whole constitutional revamp happened, I have decided to file a plea that apex court should let Sourav Ganguly and his team [secretary Jay Shah in this case] continue for a term of three years,” Verma had told PTI, arguing for continuity in administration.