Only those cricket officials who “are qualified as per the Supreme Court’s orders” can attend the annual BCCI awards function to be held in Bengaluru on March 8.
In an invitation sent to all units, BCCI Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri has quoted the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) to underline that disqualified members cannot attend the annual event. This decision of the COA means that almost all the big names will have to be dropped from the guest list.
“Kindly note that the Committee of Administrators (COA) is constrained to convey that only those office-bearers who are qualified as per the Supreme Court’s orders are expected to attend the function,” says the letter, accessed by The Indian Express.
In another letter sent to all state associations a few days ago, the Supreme Court-appointed COA had clarified that office-bearers will get a total of nine years either in the BCCI or state bodies, and not a cumulative 18-year term.
Most of the big names — including former president Anurag Thakur, former secretary Ajay Shirke and former treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry — have been in cricket administration for over nine years. So they may have to skip the awards presentation and the MAK Pataudi lecture, which will be delivered by former wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer this year.
Incidentally even Brijesh Patel, who heads the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) which is hosting the Bengaluru event, will have to be ruled out. Others like Saurashtra cricket boss Niranjan Shah and BCCI joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary too will have to stay away.
On Monday, Choudhary filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking clarity on the role of the COA, which, according to his petition, is “passing directions which give an impression that they are to administer the BCCI”. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the plea.
Last month, the Supreme Court appointed a four-member committee, headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, to look after the day-to-day affairs of the BCCI and report on whether it has complied with the Lodha panel’s recommendations.
The other three members of the panel are historian Ramachandra Guha, MD and CEO of IDFC Ltd Vikram Limaye and former Indian women’s cricket team captain Diana Eduljee.