NAGPUR: A set of officials almost new to cricket administration at this level; hosting high-profile matches where organisational loopholes can draw criticism; maintaining office and keeping alive activities without the association’s share of the BCCI’s profits from TV rights.
These were some of the challenges faced by the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA), when it decided to implement recommendations of the Lodha commission, as directed by the Supreme Court. It has been just over a year since the body amended its constitution accordingly, which makes it the only one of the 26 BCCI state units to have done so.
Going by facts that international games have been conducted smoothly, activities within the state body have not led to complaints, and that there is no crisis despite not receiving the money for which some other units have declared themselves nearly bankrupt, it can be said that the ‘reformed’ VCA has done well in terms of not letting its activities suffer.
“We have a fixed deposit of Rs 85 crore which can’t be touched without the approval of two-third of our general body. Interest from that covers our establishment cost. Recently, we got a tax refund of Rs 49 crore. So funds are not a problem,” VCA president Anand Jaiswal told Express. “We lacked working experience, as most of the office-bearers were new when we took over. Fortunately, former officials have helped us out.”
Annual expenditures are around Rs 25 crore and VCA hasn’t got a share of TV profits because it’s calculated at the BCCI AGM, which hasn’t been held for two years. So despite being eligible for the money that other units are not for non-compliance, the VCA is practically on the same boat. Expenses include maintenance of two stadiums, another venue fit to host board matches, other grounds apart from paying coaches and the staff.
“Amending constitution hasn’t led to problems. There is no conflict of interest, no government official in the executive body,” adds Jaiswal, a lawyer, who was not an office-bearer before being elected president. Former BCCI president Shashank Manohar, who headed VCA till 2008, played his part in convincing that the court order has to be obeyed. His son Adwaidh was a VCA vice-president, who is serving cooling-off period for having completed three years in office.
If things on the home front were manageable, not all was right when it came to dealing with BCCI, as most members opposing Lodha recommendations saw VCA as an outsider. They were not spoken to at BCCI meetings and were kept out of informal discussions. Things changed after it dawned by and large that the reforms can’t be stalled.
“Everyone was not very welcoming initially, but gradually the situation has changed,” said Jaiswal. “Members of associations like Andhra, Chattisgarh, Hyderabad, Odisha expressed a desire to study our revised constitution. Maybe other members see sense in what we have done.”
The India-Sri Lanka Test starting on November 24 gives representatives of different BCCI units a chance to come to Nagpur as VCA invitees. It won’t come as surprise if in between regular talks, the topic of life after implementing Lodha recommendations comes up for discussion.
Probable Manohar visit for 2nd Test
Normally, he isn’t seen during international matches in Nagpur. Even this time, he didn’t have plans to turn up for the Sri Lanka Test. But Shashank Manohar might be at VCA Stadium on the first or second day. The body sent an invite to the ICC chairman, who lives in Nagpur. Manohar might visit to meet BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and certain state-unit representatives.