HYDERABAD: At a press conference convened to highlight achievements of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), its president Arshad Ayub on Tuesday admitted “differences” within the cricket body and the “embarrassment” caused by the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s investigation into alleged irregularities.
Ayub’s admission came following a volley of questions over the absence of HCA secretary DS Chalapati, joint secretary Venkateswaran and treasurer Naresh Sharma at the press conference. “They were informed but failed to attend. There are differences in the association,” said Ayub but hastened to add, “they can be solved.”
Ayub accepted the fact that the ACB probe has been a sort of embarrassment to the association. “I agree it is an embarrassment to the HCA. At this point of time, as the investigation is going on as ordered by the High Court, we can’t comment on the issue. We are willing to help the ACB. We are open to all and we have to wait for the final report,” he said.
On the tricky executive committee meeting, which has not been held for the past nine months, Ayub said there were differences among the members but there were 20 meetings but no EC meetings. “There are some differences on this issue. We have not been able to go through with the meeting because of certain reasons. Some members want to see the full accounts of the HCA. We are trying to hold the next EC meeting shortly,” Ayub said.
Even as he was addressing the press meet, Babu Rao of the Sagar Club, picked up an argument with the former Test cricketer demanding a probe into allegations that there was widespread corruption in several deals inked by the HCA including the one related to the canopy contract.
Ayub clearly told Rao, who has been fighting with the HCA in courts and whose petitions led to the ACB probe, that he would not give answers to him as he was not allowed to field questions in this forum. Interestingly, the Ayub group had sent messages to the 221 clubs about the press meet.
On the canopy issue, Ayub was at pains to explain the reasons for the late installation on the South and North stands. “I can assure you all that the canopy will be completed by this April. We had some problem or the other, including a few matches, and hence, there was delay,” he said. Ayub clarified that the HCA had asked Deccan Chargers to pay dues of over `1 crore at the earliest. “We had discussions with the franchise and BCCI (IPL) The Chargers promised to pay the dues and a compromise formula was reached a few days ago,” he said.
Ayub nodded in agreement when asked about irregularities in selections of the teams in various age groups. He said they were wrong in not naming the fourth selector when Nandakishore resigned. “We should have appointed another selector but since most of the matches were completed, we went through the process with three selectors,” he reasoned.