CHENNAI: Even as the Supreme Court of India postponed the hearing with regards to a plea filed by numerous BCCI state units with regards to opposing voting rights to former cricketers, Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) has started the verifying process of its members.
One of Lodha Panel recommendations was to have a players’ association which in turn will nominate a male and a female cricketer to the Apex Council of the BCCI. While several of the state units had initially silent on this and concentrated more on one-state-one-vote, age-cap and cooling-off period, in the recent months, several have voiced their concerns in giving voting rights to former cricketers.
While the original order didn’t mention voting rights, the CoA sought clarification, upon which it was decided to give all former international cricketers. Units, pointing out to absence of reliable records with regards to women cricket, argue it won’t be possible for them to verify each and every cricketer.
But, the ICA has already set this verification process.
“In cases where there are no records, we have asked them to present a signed letter from a player who participated in the match or any match official. Once they present that, we will do our own verification before sending it to state units. They are just using this as an excuse to keep us away. Giving us voting rights means they have to be more transparent in lot of things,” a member of the ICA steering committee told TNIE.
While the recommendation mentions the BCCI should support the ICA financially, the steering committee in its report has asked the board to allot them the same amount that state units get annually.
“During every AGM, the BCCI distributes its funds to all the state units and we have asked that should be the case with ICA as well. The ICA then will send it to those respective state bodies. This is what we have submitted in our report. Depending on the Supreme Court hearing and once we get an approval from BCCI, things should start rolling,” the former player said.
There is also a strong possibility of ICA’s push to have clearance over annual expenditure of state units also being cleared if they are granted voting rights.
“Each association gets money to develop cricket and who better than the players to know where they have invested it? By already having two of us in apex council, there is a bigger say and if we get to see the accounts then it is even better,” he said.
However, there are doubts over what ICA’s agenda will be. For instance, it doesn’t include any active cricketer, a norm worldwide. Whether ICA will also address the issues of current cricketers still remains unclear and Federation of International Cricketers Association too echoed similar sentiments.
“It is a positive development that ICA has been formed and recognised. But FICA is concerned that it is not open to current players. A players association’s main purpose is that. Over a thousand professional cricketers in India, the biggest cricket system, remain unrepresented and without a voice in the game,”
FICA executive chairman Tony Irish said. While the FICA hasn’t had any contact with ICA, they are set to do so in the near future particularly to give them assistance on player welfare.