Former BCCI President, Anurag Thakur’s brother, Arun Singh Dhumal and Union Home Minister, Amit Shah’s son, Jay Shah are the two strong individuals with political links, who figure as representatives of 38 BCCI members (Cricket Association of Puducherry included) for the long-awaited BCCI AGM and election to be held here on October 23.
While Arun was elected as President of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association recently, Jay did not contest the election of the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA).
Anurag was removed by a Supreme Court order for impeding the implementation of the Lodha Reforms in Cricket Reforms. With the State Associations resisting changes, he faced flak from the Apex Court. With the BJP in power and he being a Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag is in a position to get a plum post for Arun in the BCCI Apex Council; five of whom in this small Council would be office bearers.
Jay did not contest the GCA election and should he get a very important post, it could be for a limited period, because he has been an office bearer of GCA for around five years and would run into cooling off period. But there is also talk of government bringing in a sports bill that once passed, would make most parts of the Lodha Reforms redundant and hence enable those elected to the BCCI Apex Council to continue in office.
Among the cricketers, Karnataka’s Brijesh Patel is eminently qualified to hold a senior position in the Apex Council. He has been in cricket administration for a long time. It has to be seen if he gets the support of the powerful people who would be calling the shots when the time comes for nominations.
Other well known cricketers who have been nominated to represent their states are, Sourav Ganguly (Bengal), Mohammad Azharuddin (Hyderabad), Jaydev Shah (Saurashtra) and Harvinder Singh (Indian Railways). Ganguly has been an administrator for some time and has multi-tasked as a chairman of the BCCI Technical Committee, coach, mentor and as a popular media personality. The question is whether he would give up all for a place in the Apex Council.
There are also others like Rajat Sharma who ever since he became the DDCA President, has been freely talked as the future BCCI President and seasoned Administrator Rajiv Shukla. Both were close to the late Arun Jaitley, whose advise was sought by those in power at DDCA and BCCI.
Punjab CA would be represented by its Vice-President and brother of India’s batting coach, Vikram Rathour.
With only six positions in the BCCI Apex Council and two in the IPL Governing council available, only a handful can aspire to become Apex Council members. Most of the office bearers of the State Associations would prefer to stay in their home constituency.
Clearly the first Apex Council of the BCCI would lack experience, but as Lodha said once here after a book release function, “New people bring new ideas”.
The electoral officer, N. Gopalaswami has said that he would scrutinise representatives of BCCI members who are deemed to be BCCI Constitution compliant by the Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators. The valid list will be announced on October 10.
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