Following the Supreme Court order which agreed to modify the cooling-off clause in Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s constitution, the deck has been cleared for the two leading office bearers – President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah to run for another 3-year term.
However, Ganguly’s continuation in office is still not being seen as a done deal. When the former India captain was elected unanimously in October 2019, he was positioned as someone who lent credibility to the board after 33 months of the court appointed administrators’ rule.
“It’s a member’s body. Now, the eligibility criteria have changed. So, few more people would become eligible. Let the house decide,” a senior board functionary said.
Both Ganguly and Shah’s continuation will be decided in the BCCI’s AGM, the notice for which will go out soon. Both were not available for comment.
BCCI officials will also have one eye on the International Cricket Council (ICC) elections that will be held, this November. The current Chairman, New Zealand’s Greg Barclay has expressed interest to stay on for another term, but BCCI may want one of their own to step up.
Administrators past and present welcomed the Supreme Court order which they believe will help administrative continuity.
“The application was moved with the interest of BCCI in mind and not any individuals,” BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal said. “Continuity always helps any organization because you need to have long term goals for the sports body and cricket. We are happy that the Court has been magnanimous enough to reconsider and accept some of our amendments.”
While the current office bearers will directly benefit, now that they don’t have to go for a cooling off after serving their present term, the revision in board’s constitution will also have far reaching consequences.
“The positive part is the court has respected the collective wisdom of the BCCI. It is very difficult to function without continuity in office,” said former BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah. “So far as the view that people will be in power for ever, that’s never happened in the BCCI because you have to win elections democratically every time.”