MPCA member questions Ganguly's eligibility as BCCI chief

MPCA life member, Sanjeev Gupta, cites clause in BCCI constitution that debars an ICC nominee to hold office in BCCI; as Board approaches SC to dilute rulebook.

Sourav Ganguly has emerged as a strong contender for ICC's top job.   -  PTI Photo

Sanjeev Gupta, a life member of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, has alleged that the revised Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rulebook does not allow Sourav Ganguly to function as the BCCI president since he has been nominated as a member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board.

Ganguly, having been included in the ICC Board as a BCCI representative soon after attending its last meeting on March 28, has emerged as a contender for the soon-to-be vacant post of the ICC Chairman.

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However, Gupta, in an email to Ganguly and other BCCI officials on Sunday, has pointed out that according to Rule 14 (9) of BCCI’s constitution, “it is amply clear that as soon as you are nominated to ICC, your post as BCCI President will get vacated automatically forthwith on being nominated”.

A BCCI official dismissed Gupta’s objection. “The clause should come into effect only if an office-bearer is elected at ICC. Otherwise the BCCI will be forced to nominate someone other than an office-bearer to the ICC, which will be ridiculous,” said the official, citing anonymity.

Gupta is known for starting a conflict-of-interest crusade against big names like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman and Ganguly when new reforms were introduced in BCCI’s constitution post-Lodha reforms.

BCCI appeal in SC

Interestingly, BCCI’s appeal to the Supreme Court makes no mention of clause 14 (9). The appeal, filed by treasurer Arun Dhumal through Adv. Bina Madhavan on April 21, requests the Court to permit BCCI to “carry out the Amendments to Rule Nos. 6.4, 6.5, 7.3, 15(3) and (4), 19(2) and 45 in the Constitution which have been approved in the Annual General Meeting held on 01.12.2019.”

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The application requests the apex court to separate tenures of office-bearers of BCCI and state associations before cooling-off and also severely curtails the power of the CEO. According to the current rulebook, CEO has been delegated extraordinary powers but the first AGM held in December last year after Ganguly and Jay Shah were elected unanimously last October, passed amendments to restrict CEO’s scope.

Most importantly, the BCCI has also requested the Supreme Court to do away with the clause of allowing any amendment to the BCCI constitution only with the Supreme Court approval.

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