Dearth in leadership worries State associations

Following the second set of FAQs released by the Lodha committee, several cricket associations are likely to face leadership crisis in the next three years. The problem can magnify to impact the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

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The strict recommendations by the Justice Lodha committee has not only put paid to the ambitions of many cricket officials but has also brought to the fore the detrimental aspect of their love for chairs, without bothering to groom the second line of administrators.

Following the second set of FAQs released by the Lodha committee, several cricket associations are likely to face leadership crisis in the next three years. The problem can magnify to impact the Board of Control for Cricket in India too.

Several Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) officials, who were certain that former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who had filled the big shoes of Jagmohan Dalmiya, would lead Bengal and Indian cricket administration for a long time, have been bamboozled by the Lodha committee's explanations.

The problem, in fact, is bigger than that. It's more about the people who would be leading CAB when the present set of officials become ineligible after completing their terms.

"The real problem will come when the officials (who will be elected in the forthcoming polls) will go into the cooling-off period after three years. Without experience the new ones will face difficulty in running the show," said former CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey, who became ineligible after serving 10 years in different posts.

"For example, you need to conduct so many domestic tournaments, including state-level and district-level age group and other events, from Darjeeling to Midnapore. One needs to schedule these and maintain the infrastructure. Besides, one has to appoint officials and umpires."

Gautam Dasgupta, who worked in the BCCI and stepped down as a CAB trustee board member, said the lack of experience would hurt cricket administration for sure. "On the whole, there will be a tremendous vacuum. There are many areas where you need experience."

Dasgupta agreed that the vacuum in state level could also reflect in BCCI, especially when dealing with different boards and the International Cricket Council (ICC) to protect India's interest.

"You need the experience to deal with important issues. Everybody knows how Jagmohan Dalmiya and I. S. Bindra used their experience and aquaintance to get the 1987 World Cup to India. There is the case of how we organised the Hero Cup after a long battle with Doordarshan (over telecast).

"But since the apex court has ordered something, everyone has to follow it."

Another influential association, Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), is also facing similar problems with at least 17 of its members being ineligible to contest for the polls. "Because of people who stuck to the administration for years, the DDCA is bound to have issues in finding suitable administrators in future," said a DDCA official.

The noticeable lack of experienced hands is also likely to pose hurdles for associations such as Haryana and Odisha.

Former BCCI president I. S. Bindra had rightly rued the dearth of cricketing foresight which led to the board's tussle with the judiciary, which landed the richest cricket board in the world in a muddle. "There is no leadership. Experience has been wiped out because of self-inflicted woes. It is time they realise their follies and work to set things right," he said.