Sourav Ganguly could potentially head the BCCI until 2024 but it requires a nod from the Supreme Court. (Photo Credit: PTI)
e Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI on Sunday decided to water down the Supreme Court-mandated administrative reforms on tenure cap for its office-bearers, seeking to clear the path for the former captain to get an extension at the end of his nine-month tenure. The decision was taken at the Board's 88th Annual General Meeting and will require the apex court's approval. "All the proposed amendments have been approved and will be forwarded to the Supreme Court," a top official told PTI. As per the current constitution, an office-bearer who has served two three-year terms, either at the BCCI or at the state association, goes into a compulsory three-year cooling-off period. Ganguly, who took charge on October 23, was to vacate office next year but a dilution could see him continue till 2024.
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah was named the Board's representative to attend future meetings of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) chief executives committee. "Whenever the meeting takes place, Jay will go," a top BCCI official told PTI. The date and venue of the next ICC CEC meeting are not yet out. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri was the Board representative for these meetings when the its administration was being handled by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA). Shah is the son of union home minister Amit Shah.
The major reason for changing the cooling off period is that this is a "restrictive" step and robs the BCCI of able and experienced administrators that would safeguard the interests of Indian cricket. The next major amendment in the AGM would be to not approach the Supreme Court each time the BCCI wants to tweak the constitution, however small or big the change. In the order which was passed on August 2018, the court was "emphatically of the view" that the BCCI would need its permission to carry out any changes the constitution.
BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal told PTI that all the proposed amendments are aimed at strengthening the board's structure and will only be incorporated once approved by the Supreme Court. "We are not touching the 70-year age cap clause. With regards to the cooling off, our point of view is if somebody has gained experience by running the state association, why give him a cooling-off. That experience should be utilised in the best interest of the game. If he can contribute in the BCCI, why not?" said Dhumal. "We will take it (all passed amendments at the AGM) to the Supreme Court. We will put across our point of view. What are the practical difficulties we are facing with regards to a few things. In case the court agrees with our idea, then we will have those amendments.
The Lodha Panel report on tenure cap had stated, "An office bearer who has held any post for two consecutive terms either in a state association or in the BCCI (or a combination of both) shall not be eligible to contest any further election without completing a cooling off period of three years. During the cooling off period, such an office bearer shall not be a member of the Governing Council or of any committee whatsoever of the BCCI or of a state association."
According to the new amendment, "A president and secretary who has served in such position for two consecutive terms in BCCI (not state association) shall not be eligible to contest without completion of cooling off." This amendment effectively means that Ganguly's period in Cricket Association of Bengal since 2014 when he was the joint-secretary and then elected unopposed as head of the CAB will not be counted in the cooling off period and that two consecutive terms ONLY IN BCCI will merit a cooling off period.
This means that Ganguly could be at the helm of the BCCI until 2024. However, since this was framed by the Supreme Court, any changes or amendments will have to get approval from them.