An elected office-bearer of the Board of Control for Cricket on India (BCCI), Amitabh Choudhary — elected as joint-secretary on March 2, 2015, but asked to discharge the duties of the secretary by the Supreme Court on January 2, 2017 — was on Thursday abruptly stripped of his powers to convene the senior national selection committee meeting, by the Committee of Administrators (CoA).
The selection committee meetings will now be convened by the chairperson of the different selection committees. In the case of the senior men’s team, it would be M.S.K. Prasad. The selection meeting for the West Indies tour, now, may be held on Saturday or Sunday.
No tangible change
Incidentally, Thursday was the third anniversary (July 18, 2016) of the apex court order that accepted the Lodha reforms, but nothing tangible has changed except for the CoA implementing the radical reforms in bits and pieces.
Sources privy to the developments leading to the scheduled selection committee meeting to pick teams for the West Indies tour here on Friday (July 19) said, a majority decision among the three CoA in Vinod Rai, Diana Edulji and Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Ravi Thodge resulted in a fresh set of directives, notifying the new process of selection meetings for all national teams, posted on the BCCI website on Thursday afternoon.
It has turned out that Diana, who has had run-ins with Rai in the past, did not like the idea of the secretary’s right as convenor of the senior selection committee being taken away three months before the BCCI’s proposed AGM on October 22.
New Constitution cited
The CoA note cited the New BCCI Constitution registered with the Registrar of Societies, Tamil Nadu, in August 2018, to eliminate the secretary from convening meetings related to cricketing matters. The question that was raised by a handful of former BCCI officials after the CoA directive was: “Why did this occur to the CoA and Rai all of a sudden, when Choudhary had convened selection meetings after the new BCCI Constitution was registered?”
The CoA note said, “except on overseas tours, the chairperson of the respective selection committee shall convene the meetings, viz., (i) men’s selection committee, (ii) junior selection committee and (iii) women’s selection committee. On overseas tours the administrative manager shall convene the meetings in accordance with the relevant provision of the New BCCI Constitution. Neither any officer-bearer nor the CEO shall attend any cricket committee.”
No approval needed
The note has also said that the selection committee does not need any approval either from the hon. secretary or the CEO in relation to any selection made or change or replacement in the team.
The Lodha panel recommendations had said that the “Secretary (of the BCCI) shall keep and maintain the minutes of Annual and Special meetings of the General Body, the Meetings of the Apex Council and of the Committees appointed by the General Body in appropriate books and shall cause them to be properly and correctly recorded and confirmed.”
Outlining the function of the joint-secretary (of the BCCI) the Lodha panel had said: The joint secretary shall convene and keep minutes of the Committees that may be placed in his charge at the Annual General Meeting or by the secretary.