Jagdale: 'BCCI became strong because of honest people'

Former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale recalls the rough waters in the board during the IPL spot-fixing case in 2013 — “I could not digest whatever happened.”

Former BCCI secretary and national selector, Sanjay Jagdale, feels the board still does good work but it needs to bring back the honest members.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

Sanjay Jagdale was elected as secretary at the BCCI AGM in September 2011. The outgoing BCCI president Shashank Manohar and the incoming president, N. Srinivasan, had backed him. A former first class cricketer for Madhya Pradesh and a man known for integrity, Jagdale’s election was welcomed by the cricketing fraternity. But in less than two years, he had resigned following allegations of malpractices in the IPL and the arrest of Chennai Super Kings official and son-in-law of the BCCI president, Gurunath Meiyappan.

Talking to Sportstar while watching the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match between Mumbai and Vidarbha at the Holkar Stadium on Monday, the veteran official said that the BCCI became a respected organisation because of honest people and that it should go back to its members. And the game should not suffer.

Excerpts.

When you resigned, the BCCI had 29 full members, now there are 36, but it’s actually run by the Supreme Court-appointed COA. Most regard it as absurd and not an ideal situation for an institution of nine decades...

It’s very unfortunate. It (the implementation of the Justice Lodha Committee) is taking a long time. A lot of credit has to be given to people like M.A. Chidambaram, S. Sriraman who worked for the BCCI and subsequently to Jagmohan Dalmiya and Inder Singh Bindra for making major contributions to the BCCI. If this cricket body has become financially sound and runs many tournaments, there must have been some honesty in people. There could be one or two wrong doings, but one cannot make sweeping charges on the BCCI. I am not saying everything was good in the BCCI, but a lot of good things were being done in the past and even now. The BCCI tournaments were being run in the most professional manner. What has happened is very unfortunate, because the state associations are nowhere now. Everything has to be cleared very quickly now. It has taken a very long time for the state associations to take charge and run the BCCI affairs.

You talked about honest people in the BCCI; do you regret having resigned? Many people say it was a knee-jerk reaction and things would have been better if you two (Jagdale and Ajay Shirke, BCCI treasurer) had not quit as principal office-bearers...

I don’t think there would have been any change if I had continued. But then someone had to take moral responsibility in response to whatever happened in 2013. I could not digest whatever happened. I was the secretary, but I was not directly involved with the IPL, there was the Governing Council. I felt that someone needed to take responsibility for what happened. I became secretary only because of Manohar and Srinivasan. I was never keen, but they had persuaded me. They told me to look after the cricketing activities. I had a very good understanding with Srinivasan. He always supported me for cricket. We did U-19 and ‘A’ tours and organised women’s cricket. He gave me a free hand.

Do you think Srinivasan should also have resigned and probably the BCCI members would have still been running the daily affairs in a normal manner?

I would not like to comment on this. It was a personal decision, what I thought, I did. It was for the then president to decide. I was not feeling comfortable staying as secretary. As it is, I was never much involved in the IPL which was run in a professional manner. If a player does something wrong, you cannot blame another individual, or somebody is related to you has done something wrong, you cannot be blamed and if someone known to me is doing something wrong, you cannot blame me unless I am part of it.

Then it was the IPL operational rule that was cited to suspend CSK and RR for two years...

Absolutely. We had also removed Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. So the same rule applies to all franchise teams. So morally I thought how can I continue. You cannot have double standards. I never wanted to be part of that decision (to make him part of the BCCI-appointed committee that had two retired judges to probe the Meiyappan case and interrogate Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra).

It’s one of the BCCI office-bearers who recommended to the Lodha panel to bring the ‘one state, one member, one vote’ rule. Do you think the members could have responded in a more meaningful way to the Supreme Court order?

I actually don’t know what’s happening. I have been out of the BCCI for a long time now. It all depends on the state associations. I want the BCCI members to take control of all activities. It is the BCCI members who have turned the board into an institution.

Your thoughts on the Ranji Trophy and the BCCI tournaments…

The Ranji Trophy Trophy and other tournaments have been diluted now. There should have been a fourth group for the new teams with rules for promotion. The Ranji Trophy was in a healthy state in the last four or five years.

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