CHENNAI: Big decisions with far-reaching consequences are likely at the BCCI’s annual general meeting on December 1. Foremost is a proposed amendment to the rules on cooling-off. If passed by three-fourth of the general body and approved by the Supreme Court, this will see president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah continue instead of going on a cooling-off break next year.
In a circular signed by Shah sent to the state associations on Saturday, it is said the general body will “discuss and pass with or without modifications, the proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations of BCCI”. In a separate attachment listing the proposed amendments, with other points is the rule regarding cooling-off, which says that on completion of six years in office in a state body and/or BCCI, a person has to take a break of three years. Ganguly, Shah and BCCI joint-secretary Jayesh George have to vacate office under this rule around July next year since they will be completing six years by then.
In a move aimed presumably at enabling Ganguly and the other office-bearers to continue beyond that deadline, the BCCI is proposing that the cooling-off rule be applicable to those who serve six years in a state body or in the BCCI without clubbing the two together. For example, this means if X has been a state body president for four years, he can be a BCCI office-bearer for six more years instead of two, as mentioned in the existing rule.
Since the existing rules were framed following a Supreme Court order, changing them will also require the court’s approval. It’s not clear at the moment what makes the BCCI confident that this change will get that nod. “Of course we can’t do anything if the court says no. But this is needed, considering that the cooling-off break disrupts continuity,” said a veteran of board games.
Another significant change proposed is doing away with the court’s approval while amending the constitution. While the existing rule says this requires three-fourth majority of the general body plus the court’s consent, the proposed one says the same without mentioning the court part. “Let’s wait till the matter reaches the court,” said BCCI sources when asked about it.
The proposed amendments also strip the CEO and other highly-placed employees of most of their powers. The existing rule says day-to-day management of cricketing and non-cricketing matters shall be conducted by professionals. If this is changed, then the secretary will “exercise all powers”, with the CEO and other management personnel reporting to him on a regular basis.
No restriction on ICC representative
The proposed amendments have changes in the disqualification criteria for various posts. The original rules cover office-bearers, GC members and representative to ICC. The proposed rules have been split into two categories — disqualification criteria for office-bearers/Apex Council members and those for GC and other committees. There is no mention of the ICC representatives in the proposed changes. The maximum age of 70 has been removed for GC members, while the clause regarding a maximum of nine years spent at the state association has been removed for office-bearers. Only people who’ve been imprisoned for three years will now be disqualified.