CoA chief Vinod Rai and member Diana Edulji spar over conflict of interest rule for ex-Ranji Trophy players
Fissures within the Committee of Administrators (CoA) continue to show up even in the Supreme Court-appointed panel's last week of calling the shots in Indian cricket (CoA will demit office on October 23 once the new elected body takes charge of BCCI)
While the 11th status report was filed by the CoA on Monday in the Supreme Court where they recommended various amendments to the constitution, CoA chief Vinod Rai and CoA member Diana Edulji have sparred over some contentious recommendations of the three-member committee.
'State units will be a circus'
Edulji, the only cricketer in the CoA, slammed the suggestion to give voting rights to all former Ranji Trophy players in their state associations. "Having Ranji Trophy players with voting rights in their state associations will be making SCA (state cricket associations) a circus," she said in an email.
Rai's reply was: "The CoA believes that ex-Ranji players who have cricketing knowledge and experience should not be deprived of membership to state associations."
One of the key recommendations in the status report is to allow cricketers to don many hats as long as they are not in conflict. Edulji, who was instrumental in conducting the meeting of cricketers over conflict of interest rules, objected to the CoA's recommendation. "I would like to state that only players representing India are contracted with BCCI. Current players are registered with their states, some states have contracts for them and finally all are BCCI registered players. As such they can't be permitted to don other hats," she said.
Rai was bemused at Edulji's objection and stated: "In any case just because some of the players are contracted by state associations or are registered by the BCCI does not mean that they should be outside the consideration of cricketing post, so long as there is no conflict of interest."
Edulji was not happy with her colleagues applying different yardsticks for state units like Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Maharashtra for non-compliance and different measures for states like Baroda, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi etc where there is alleged gross violation of the approved constitution. Ravindra Thodge sided with Rai with regards to Edulji's objections.
Regarding effective grievance redressal mechanism wherein the CoA wants an independent committee to be constituted, Edulji stated: "We are casting doubts on the integrity of the nominated ombudsman and ethics officers of the state associations. Also our constitution doesn't envisage such drastic changes. Interference in running of the elected state association will be detrimental to BCCI. BCCI can't enforce themselves on the elected state association who have registered their constitution."
Rai rebuked the former India captain's views. "There is absolutely no question of casting any doubt on the integrity of any individual but as accepted in the Lodha committee report, it is not sufficient for a functionary to be independent, but it should also appear to be independent,"
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