Shashank’s successor — the guessing game goes on

According to observers, the recommendations of the Lodha Committee, particularly the composition of the Apex Council and the key riders attached to it, are being looked at seriously by a handful of aspirants.

Anurag Thakur and Rajeev Shukla... front runners to succeed Shashank Manohar as the BCCI chief.   -  PTI

The move to find a successor to Shashank Manohar, who resigned as BCCI president on Tuesday, is likely to make headway after the conclusion of the budget session of the Parliament on May 13. Observers say that the recommendations of the Justice R. M. Lodha Committee, particularly the composition of the Apex Council (replacing the existing all-powerful Working Committee) and the key riders attached to it, are being looked at seriously by a handful of aspirants. The Lodha Committee has recommended an Apex Council consisting of five elected office-bearers (president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer), one elected full member, a male and female representative nominated by the players association and one person nominated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

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One of the most important recommendations of the Lodha Committee is: “In order to ensure that the posts are not treated as permanent positions of power, each term should be for three years. The total period for which a person can be a member of the Apex Council shall be nine years regardless of the capacity in which such position was or is occupied. However, in order to ensure that there is an appropriate cooling-off period, no person shall be a member of the Apex Council for two consecutive terms. Any elected Councillor shall stand automatically disqualified after nine years as an office-bearer, and shall also be disqualified from contesting or holding the post if he has completed the age of 70 years, is charged under the penal law, is declared to be of unsound mind, is a minister or government servant or holds any post of another sports body in the country.”

Now, the fact is Anurag Thakur would have completed six years as an office-bearer (joint secretary and secretary by September 2017) and hence he will not be eligible to contest for the post of president (in September 2017), should the Supreme Court endorse the recommendations of the Lodha panel. So Thakur may make a bid now itself. The age restriction of 70 is being cited as a reason for Andhra Cricket Association’s Dr. G. Ganga Raju expressing interest to become the BCCI president. The IPL chairman, Rajeev Shukla, is only 56, but he is as keen as any other eligible official in the BCCI to wear the president’s hat.

For nominating the candidate for the post of president, the Cricket Association of Bengal, National Cricket Club, Kolkata, and Tripura Cricket Association — which is seen as a strong block in BCCI’s election matters — would have a major say.

The BCCI rules and regulations also state that in the event of the post of an office-bearer falling vacant, the president shall fill up such a vacancy and the person appointed shall hold office until the following AGM. Observers say that such a scenario can happen should the present secretary be elected president at the special general body meeting.

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