'Supreme Court order is clear, BCCI elections should be held'
MUMBAI: In the middle of all the confusion over interpretation of the orders of the Supreme Court involving the BCCI matter, the only subject of relevance — one which the majority in the Indian cricket ecosystem agree with — is that the time has come for the board to conduct its Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Vinod Rai, chairman of SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), clarified on Tuesday that he had not asked for a deferment of BCCI elections, scheduled by his own committee for October 22. On Tuesday afternoon, Rai told news agencies that the elections are being deferred only by one day – to be moved from October 22 to 23 — owing to state elections. To that effect, the COA head agrees that the long-due elections cannot be delayed any further.
However, there are those in the board who continue to believe that Rai wants the election deferred by two weeks, albeit for reasons they can’t figure. “There’s an effort being made for the SC to hear the COA first. But as far as most individuals (outside of COA) see, the court very clearly spelt out what it wanted to in the September 20 hearing. There’s no need to further complicate matters,” said sources tracking developments.
Rai visited the BCCI headquarters on Tuesday and spent the better part of the day with CEO Rahul Johri and the board’s legal team.
TOI tried contacting BCCI’s officebearers and the staff at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai to find out what Rai’s visit was all about and not a single individual appeared to know the reasons in any detail. “All I know is it wasn’t an official COA meeting because the other members (of COA) weren’t there. I don’t think Rai even informed his colleagues that he was going to visit,” say sources.
Rai’s visit aside, even those who’ve been working closely with him agree that elections need to happen at the earliest because “a closure in this matter is what BCCI needs now”. Those who’ve seen BCCI’s functioning from close say “the battle between COA and the members has.... harmed the game’s administration”.
Post the meeting, the COA issued another advisory directing state associations and their electoral officers not to re-amend their constitutions as already approved by the COA and conduct elections in accordance with the constitution.