The CAG nominee in the BCCI’s Apex Council, Alka Rehani Bhardwaj, wants the body to discuss its reconstitution when it meets on July 17, saying the issue needs to be on the agenda as the tenures of Board President, Vice-President and Secretary have either ended or ending soon.
The BCCI has sought a term extension from the Apex Court for its president Sourav Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah and joint secretary Jayesh George, asking for an exemption from the mandated cooling-off period. Vice-president’s post has been lying vacant ever since Mahim Verma resigned to take charge of Uttarakhand cricket.
All BCCI office-bearers are members of the Apex Council.
“....in view of pending Honourable Supreme Court hearing on cooling off period clause, the reconstitution of Apex council warranted due to ending/ coming to end of tenure of Vice President/ Secretary/President BCCI needs to be kept as an Agenda item,” Bhardwaj wrote in an e-mail to the Council members, referring to the meeting on July 17.
Ganguly assumed office last October and is set to enter his cooling-off period on July 27. He will have to relinquish his position if the apex court doesn’t take up the matter. Shah, who took charge with Ganguly, is reportedly already through with his tenure.
As per the BCCI constitution, an office-bearer needs to go into compulsory cooling-off after two consecutive terms at the state association or the board or both combined.
“...The President/Joint Secretary BCCI [who would be presumably officiating as Secretary after vacation of Secretary BCCI post] need to also ensure that fourth Apex Council meeting is attended by only members, eligible as per the Constitution,” Bhardwaj wrote further in the email.
“Any decision on this matter may please be backed by facts and endorsed legally. This is being reiterated only to ensure compliance with Honourable Supreme Court approved Constitution,” she added.
In its fourth meeting, the BCCI Apex Council will work on finalising India’s revised Future Tours Program and the domestic season. The meeting, like the last emergent meeting on May 6, will be held online amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The nine-member Council could also discuss the raging issue of Chinese sponsorship in the IPL.
However, any matter concerning the IPL can only be officially taken up by its Governing Council, which had called for a meeting to review Chinese sponsorship in the league in the wake of the Galwan Valley clash last month but is yet to come up with a date.
The Indian cricket team, which last played in the first week of March, was scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series in June-July but that series has been postponed indefinitely due to pandemic. A tour of Zimbabwe in August has also been called off.
With the cases rising rapidly in India, it is not even clear when the players can assemble for a training camp though individually, some of them have hit the nets.
Discussion on finalising domestic cricket schedule is also on the agenda. The previous season ended with the Ranji Trophy final in March before the nationwide lockdown was enforced, leading to the indefinite postponement of the subsequent Irani Cup.
In all probability, it will be a curtailed domestic season especially if the IPL is played in the September-October window which the BCCI has zeroed on, subject to the fate of the T20 World Cup in October-November.
Last month, the ICC gave BCCI a deadline extension till December on seeking tax exemption for the T20 World Cup to be held in India next month.
“That issue will also come up for discussion,” a BCCI official told PTI.
Besides, the Council will have a discussion on “issues concerning Bihar Cricket Association”.