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BCCI in operation clean-up mode, appoints ombudsman


Mumbai : Cracking the whip  on conflict of interest in the Board, the BCCI today unveiled a slew of reforms as part of its promised clean-up operation and also brought in a sudden end to the controversial N Srinivasan’s tenure as ICC Chairman.

Chairing his first AGM since taking over last month, BCCI President Shashank Manohar led the Board into a new era by persuading the members to address the issues of conflict of interest and unanimously accept the appointment of a retired judge as Ombudsman.

The Board also decided to trim some of its sub- committees, drop Indian Team Director Ravi Shastri from the IPL Governing Council and axe Roger Binny from the selection panel to negate the perceived conflict of interest. Besides, former captain Sourav Ganguly was appointed Chairman of the Technical Committee, replacing Anil Kumble.

“Today at the annual general body meeting of the Board, all the members of the Board were unanimous in their approach and were interested in seeing that the Board functions in the most transparent manner,” Manohar told reporters after the 86th AGM today in which Retired Justice A P Shah was named the ombudsman.

“Contrary to the expectations of the media, the members unanimously approved the rules with regards to conflict of interest, they also unanimously approved the amendments to the constitution that everybody spoke in that meeting in favour of a clean and transparent functioning of the Board,” Manohar said.

“Principally, we have decided on issues regarding conflict of interest. The detailing would be done by the legal committee in two months’ time,” he said.

The BCCI also removed former president and ICC chairman N Srinivasan as its representative in the world body and replaced him with Manohar who will be the new ICC chairman for the remainder of the term which ends in June next year.

“The BCCI representative to the ICC is Mr Shashank Manohar. By virtue of being the Board’s representative in the ICC he will take over as the ICC chairman,” said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur.

The Board appointed former Andhra and India stumper M S K Prasad (South) and ex-India and Rajasthan opener Gagan Khoda as replacements for Hans and Binny in the selection panel.

The BCCI also accorded Test status to six new venues — Visakhapatnam, Ranchi, Indore, Pune, Dharamsala, and Rajkot — all of which are ICC-approved international venues.

“The Board granted Test status to Pune, Vizag, Ranchi, Rajkot, Indore and Dharamsala because next year we are going to have about 12 Test matches in India and each stadium has all the facilities of hosting international games.

“With regard to conflict of interest there is no change. With regards to the amendments pertaining to one clause in the IPL GC, on whether we should have three independent persons from outside, that was deferred because people wanted to further deliberate on that issue. Everything else was accepted.”

“The Ombudsman appointed by Board is Justice A P Shah who would look into complaints of conflict of interest. Somebody has to take complaint to the Board, the Board would forward it because Board has appointed him.”

“The (annual) accounts were passed and the entire AGM report is already on the website,” Manohar said detailing the decisions taken at the AGM.

Besides, the BCCI decided to retain Rajeev Shukla as the Chairman of the IPL Governing Council, which would also comprise Jyotiraditya Scindia, M P Pandove, Ajay Shirke and Ganguly.

“Whatever I had said a month ago, that we would clean up the system and try to run the Board in a transparent fashion, we have done everything we could and other things would be put in place in a short while from now,” Manohar said.

“To eliminate bias from the decision-making process, we have appointed AP Shah, who is a former chief justice who would decide the issue, so that nobody from the board will decide.”

Manohar said the size of the working committee, “which is a constitutional committee” would remain the same.

“With regard to other committees it has been principally agreed that they will not have more than 7-8 people,” he added.      The clean-up operation has been triggered by the 2013 IPL Spot-fixing scandal, which was investigated by the Supreme Court-appointed R M Lodha committee.

The apex court-appointed panel had suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years for their officials’ involvement in the scandal. Manohar said an auction for two new teams would be held soon.

“For the present, the Board is internally looking into IPL matters, if required we will hire somebody. IMG has been paid Rs 28 crore by the Board and its primary responsibility is to run IPL. We have spoken to them and told them it’s their responsibility to run the show.

“We are going to have a draft auction as far as the two new teams are concerned and we will allow five players each to them,” Manohar said.

Yesterday, Shukla said that the other players from the two suspended teams would be put in a common auction for the two teams to bid for.

On the removal of Roger Binny as selector, Manohar said the decision would ensure that the former all-rounder’s son Stuart does not face criticism for being a selector’s son.

“The perception has to change, there should not be injustice on Stuart Binny, we can’t destroy his career. He can’t be drawing flak from media that because he is Roger Binny’s son, he cannot play,” he explained.

On the removal of central zone’s Hans and inclusion of Khoda, Manohar said, “look into his performance.”

Addressing the media alongside Manohar, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur was asked whether Delhi would host the fourth India-South Africa Test next month given the infighting in the DDCA.

“By November 17, DDCA has to come  back to Board with all permissions from the state government, if they don’t then the match would be shifted to Pune,” he said.

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