CHENNAI: 281 is a special number in Indian cricket. The magical runs that flowed from VVS Laxman’s bat in 2001 set the tone for the Indian team to begin a journey of ascent.
As the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) completed 281 days in office on Tuesday, the jury is still to know whether the reforms it is supposed to implement would actually see the light of day. As the days roll, confusion grows in the BCCI corridors, where there are big shoes to fill.
Under normal circumstances, the BCCI would have held its annual general meeting in September. But for the third time in four years, it hasn’t been held as per convention. One was held last year, which was declared null and void for flouting guidelines.
Interestingly, none in the board circles have mentioned AGM in recent months, neither have any state association written to the CoA asking why the AGM isn’t held. Last year, despite the CoA stating that BCCI members can’t hold the AGM without accepting the reforms and new constitution, officials held one, saying that the judiciary can’t stop them from conducting routine affairs.
The AGM suddenly became a matter of utmost importance. But a year later, the same officials are silent. Many are of the opinion that holding another AGM might again draw the wrath of the CoA.
“The issue is still pending before the Supreme Court. Until there is a clear order, there is no need to call an AGM. A few FAQs remain unanswered. If we accept the new constitution, then those arguments will become meaningless in the court. Once the draft constitution is accepted, things will start rolling for the AGM,” a board official said.
None of the BCCI office-bearers — president CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary — have taken steps to call the AGM either.
Sources close to the CoA think they are buying time, because if the BCCI has to accept the new constitution as framed by the Lodha commission, all three will become ineligible to continue following the cooling-off clause.
“The accounts have not been passed for two years and as you are aware, revised pays are waiting for approval, including the raise for Ranji players.
“If the AGM is called, a completely different set-up will take over and all these officials have to take a year off, so even they are not pushing for it. The CoA was supposed to assist them only in the transformation, but since these officials have pushed them to taking all decisions, even a decision on the AGM might be taken by the CoA,” a highly-placed official said.
When Vinod Rai took charge as head of CoA, he said his committee’s role was that of a night watchman, for a maximum of six months. Having taken more than a hundred days than that, job is still not done.