PUNE: The next few days will give a clear picture of who the new office-bearers of the BCCI would be, in the post-Lodha reforms era. Nominations for various posts can be filed from Friday. October 14 is the last date. Though there are names doing the rounds, a meeting of the powerful old guard in Mumbai on November 13 is expected to finalise the list of candidates. It’s learnt that former BCCI president and current Union Minister of State (Finance) Anurag Thakur is working behind the scenes and will play a role in deciding who gets what post.
Usually, the BCCI’s annual general meetings don’t witness elections and it is likely to be the same on October 23. This upcoming AGM will be the first in four years. The new rules have ruled out almost 90 per cent of the former office-bearers because of age, tenure and cooling-off clauses. Still, old heavyweights such as former BCCI presidents N Srinivasan and Thakur retain their hold. However, the president will be decided only with the consent of the central government. As of now, and in a departure from the past, there’s no frontrunner yet for the president’s post.
Former India batsman Brijesh Patel has emerged as an early contender for the secretary’s post. Though there seems to be doubts over his eligibility, things are expected to fall in place. He is also the Karnataka State Cricket Association representative to the AGM. Jay Shah, son of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is also in fray for one of the posts. It is believed that he stepped down from the Gujarat Cricket Association for this purpose. Former Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association chief Rajiv Shukla is also being spoken about, but whether he gets the backing remains unclear.
While Srinivasan was expected to play a bigger role, one understands it is Thakur who is calling the shots. In fact, the two are set to get in touch to finalise the list of candidates, following which it will be put to the floor in the meeting. Unlike 2015, where there was an election for all the posts barring the president’s, Thakur seems to be keen on avoiding such scenarios and wants the AGM to be smooth. In this regard, Srinivasan, who still has a powerful lobby by his side, might bargain for a couple of posts. Patel has been one of his close confidants over the years. With this being a transition phase in the BCCI, a few members want someone from the past, who is eligible to hold a position, to be around in some capacity as it can help things.
Viswanath for CAC
With regards to the Cricket Advisory Committee, former India batsman Gundappa Viswanath is likely to be on the three-member panel. There’s also a strong chance of Dilip Vengsarkar being part of it if he doesn’t get a shot at the selector’s role. With regards to the selection committee, there are talks of all the five selectors being replaced, with former India leg-spinner Lakshman Sivaramakrishnan seen as the potential one to replace MSK Prasad as chairman.