Niranjan Shah included in BCCI Special Committee

The inclusion of the veteran administrator raises serious doubts over BCCI's seriousness about adopting cricket reforms.

Niranjan Shah has been associated with the Saurashtra Cricket Association for well over four decades.   -  K. R. Deepak

 

As if a seven-member Special Committee to chart roadmap for implementing cricket reforms - mandated by the Supreme Court - wasn't enough, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday inducted veteran administrator Niranjan Shah into the panel. Shah's inclusion in itself raises serious doubts over BCCI's seriousness about adopting the reforms. It would be interesting to see the course of action the committee takes during its meeting in New Delhi on July 1.

The Supreme Court's order has barred individuals who are above 70 years of age and/or have served more than nine years as an office-bearer either in a state association or the BCCI to continue as an office-bearer. Shah, a constant in Saurashtra Cricket Association and BCCI for well over four decades, is debarred on both counts. Still, the BCCI hierarchy has included Shah, perhaps to strike the balance of power.

Read: Shukla, Ganguly to spearhead BCCI Special Committee

Shah, a former BCCI secretary, has been one of the vocal critics of the proposed reforms, especially the eligibility criteria and the one-state-one-vote clause. However, on Wednesday, he played safe when asked about his role in the Special Committee. “I shall try and help the other members out with my experience and suggest means on what best we can do with regard to the Supreme Court order implementation,” Shah told Sportstar, adding that he was always supposed to be in the committee.

‘Eyewash’

The list that Shah referred to was the one that was recommended by the faction led by N. Srinivasan and Anurag Thakur, the former administrators who just like Shah are ineligible to be office-bearers. Sportstar understands that after Monday's SGM, the Srinivasan-Thakur faction had suggested a list, which included the likes of Shah, Arun Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), G. Ranga Raju (Andhra) and Ranjib Biswal (Odisha). However, most of them were surprised to see the inclusion of Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla, with the latter having been appointed as the chairman of the committee.

“The acting secretary (Amitabh Choudhary) is arbitrarily taking such calls. Anyway, the committee in itself is going to end up as nothing but an eyewash,” said a member of the committee, preferring anonymity.

The committee has been asked to suggest future course of action with regard to implementation by July 10. If the committee confirms to the BCCI hierarchy that it can actually suggest a plan of action before the next apex court hearing on July 14, then the BCCI will have to convene another general body meeting before the court hearing.

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