Scales have been slightly tilted in favour of Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah well before the Supreme Court hears the Board of Control for Cricket in India plea to waive-off their cooling off period. The BCCI has pleaded that president Ganguly and secretary Shah should be allowed to serve full three-year terms in the board.
The BCCI is seeking the court’s nod to amend its constitutions. Going by the present rules, which adhere to the Lodha Commission recommendations, Ganguly’s tenure as the BCCI president will be over on Sunday, July 27, whereas Shah had to demit his office last month as the duo complete two terms of six successive years as cricket administrators – first in their respective State bodies and then in the BCCI.
As the Bihar Cricket Association versus BCCI case will come up for hearing today, the board counsellors are expected to make a special mention to take up the matter of relief to the duo on urgent basis. Since, the crucial issue cannot be decided in one-off hearing, the BCCI will be pleading for at least an interim relief.
A ray of hope has emerged as the IPL spot-fixing case petitioner Aditya Verma has confirmed that his lawyers “won’t oppose” a cooling-off period waiver for BCCI president and secretary when the matter is heard in the Supreme Court.
“I have always maintained that Sourav Ganguly is the best man to lead BCCI. I believe Dada and Jay Shah should get a full term to again stabilise BCCI,” Verma told PTI. “Therefore on behalf of CAB, I will not have an objection if Dada is allowed to continue as BCCI president.
“Out of his nine months, four months have already been lost due to coronavirus and any administrator needs time to implement plans and policies.”
GROUNDS FOR RELIEF
The BCCI counsellors will primarily seek the amendment to the age, tenure and cooling off period clause on the ground that the tenures in the State and national bodies should not be clubbed. They will also press for an interim relief on the following grounds:
- The BCCI will become absolutely headless if the president and secretary both vacate their offices with immediate effect
- BCCI has the crucial issue of the Indian Premier League to deal with
- Due to COVID-19 pandemic, it will not be possible to go for elections and find their replacements soon
- The BCCI in the present scenario needs experienced administrators
- Status quo should be maintained when the matter is pending before the Apex Court
According to BCCI’s new constitution, a cooling-off period of three years is mandatory after serving for six years as an office-bearer in either a State association or the Board.
Ganguly and Shah took charge of the BCCI last October after having already served for more than five years in the Cricket Association of Bengal and Gujarat Cricket Association respectively. Ganguly had been the CAB president, while Shah was a joint secretary in the GCA.