Relief for BCCI office-bearers, changes likely in next AGM

Shah might replace Ganguly as president of BCCI at the annual general body meet in October after Supreme Court clears deck for both to seek another term.

Published: 15th September 2022 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th September 2022 08:31 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose only (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: What a difference the words “or” and “and” can make! In what came as a major sigh of relief for the Indian cricket board (BCCI) members, a Supreme Court bench led by Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli agreed on allowing the BCCI to amend the cooling-off period in its constitution, paving the way for incumbents secretary Jay Shah and president Sourav Ganguly to seek another term. And the two words that seem integral to the change are 'or' and 'and'.

The cooling-off period has been the bone of contention among other issues for the BCCI officials and approached the Supreme Court. Among others, the BCCI has been requesting the SC that it be allowed to make amendments as proposed by the general body of the body. As per the original SC order in 2017, any office-bearer who has completed six years (two three-year term) in a state unit or BCCI was supposed to undergo a three-year mandatory cooling-off period.

And after hearing BCCI’s arguments which wanted the Supreme Court to relax the cooling-off clause to allow continuity, a key change has been allowed. Now an office-bearer need not undergo a mandatory cooling-off period after completing six years at a state unit if he moves to BCCI. This means an individual now can hold a BCCI/state unit position cumulatively for 12 years without a cooling-off period.

As per 6(4) of the BCCI constitution: "An office-bearer who has held any post for two consecutive terms in either a state association or in the BCCI (or a combination of both) shall not be eligible to contest any further election without completing a cooling-off period three years."

And following the apex court order on Wednesday, this is how 6 (4) may look like in the updated constitution. "An office-bearer who has held any post for two consecutive terms in either a state association and in the BCCI shall not be eligible to contest any further election without completing a cooling-off period three years."

“We are extremely thankful to the Supreme Court for allowing us to make these amendments. It was something proposed at the general body of the BCCI,” board treasurer Arun Kumar Dhumal told this daily. “Continuity always helps in long-term planning for any organisation. If you look at the history of the BCCI, even without any amendments to the constitution, no president has stayed more than three years in office. We are happy that the court took cognizance of that fact and has accepted our request," Dhumal added.

While the amendment means some of the old guards may feel hard done by as they had relinquished their posts in 2019, it has now cleared the decks for Shah and Ganguly to carry on for another term. However, when the BCCI calls for the annual general meeting — which is likely to be in mid-October — one expects a change of guard.

Ganguly, who became the first former player to head the BCCI on a permanent basis in 2019, is unlikely to continue in the chair. It is understood that the former India captain will most likely move to the International Cricket Council in some capacity. In the likelihood of Ganguly not continuing as the president, it is understood that Shah may replace him for the top post.

Treasurer Dhumal is a front-runner to become the new secretary. Karnataka State Cricket Association’s secretary Santosh Menon’s name is doing the rounds to replace joint-secretary Jayesh George. Rajeev Shukla, who is the vice-president, is likely to hold on to the post after the apex court cleared the way for public servants to become office-bearers. Bureaucrats and ministers will continue to be prohibited from being office-bearers.

With regards to Ganguly, although is eligible to continue, the former India captain doesn’t enjoy a good equation with the rest. In fact, in 2019 when the elections for the BCCI were held under new constitution, he was a late entrant to the president's post. He was more of a circumstantial candidate. Moreover, Ganguly doesn’t enjoy the backing of a majority of state units, which is needed to get the votes.

Shah, though, continues to enjoy the support of state units and is expected to face no competition. As for other posts, it remains to be seen if any other faction puts a candidate.


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