Shirke: BCCI is not beyond redemption

"The damage is not beyond repair at all. While all the legal proceedings have been happening on one hand, cricketing activities have been improving. The Board’s other administrative activities have not suffered," Ajay Shirke said.

Ajay Shirke said that advertising for the post of Indian coach was a step in the direction of transparency.   -  Vivek Bendre

A day after taking over as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary, Ajay Shirke spelt out the immediate priorities of his 16-month stint in a chat with Sportstar.

Excerpts:-

When you resigned as the BCCI treasurer in 2013, you had said that by not acting properly during the Indian Premier League (IPL) corruption scandal, the BCCI is doing too much damage to itself. Is the damage beyond repair now?

The damage is not beyond repair at all. While all the legal proceedings have been happening on one hand, cricketing activities have been improving. The Board’s other administrative activities have not suffered; the meetings have been held regularly; accounts have been passed, reports have been made; compliances have been made. These clearly cannot happen in a thoroughly useless organisation as it is made out to be. The shifting of IPL matches at such a short notice is an example of it. It’s not so easy. Not a single person has complained that he has not got refund of tickets. Imagine the logistics in this. What has happened is unfortunate but nothing is beyond redemption. And there is value for scrap also, right?

What are the immediate priorities for you as the BCCI secretary?

Immediate priority is the implementation of the recent reforms introduced by the BCCI. Any reform is as good as its implementation. Continual and sustained implementation is the main issue. Another issue is to sort out the responsibilities of a lot new professionals that the BCCI has roped in.

How do you plan to handle the internal restructuring, with the addition of the chief executive officer (Rahul Johri) and the chief financial officer (Santosh Rangnekar)?

We just have to streamline the processes at the BCCI headquarters so that there’s no parallel working. We have to ensure the new people are settled without ruffling the old hands. We are working on that now. I have a draft organisation structure which we are discussing amongst ourselves. Once it is ready, we will present it to the president for his comment and approval.

Since the BCCI’s rulebook states secretary is the chief executive, will you change Rahul Johri’s designation?

It’s a minor issue. The appointed CEO and the elected chief executive are two distinct positions. The designation does not mean Mr. Johri will replace the BCCI secretary. He is the employed chief executive officer and he will remain with the Board irrespective of who is the secretary. He is the executive arm of the secretary’s office. And if anybody wants to get hypertechnical, we can always amend the wording of that rulebook.