shashank manohar

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Commentary on Lodha Commission recommendations to BCCI – IX


Chapter Ten: Constitution & Functioning of Members

The Lodha Commission believes that there should be uniformity in how the BCCI and its member associations are structured.

The BCCI is registered as a society. Members are either societies or companies.

English: Four Indian boys playing cricket in t...

Four Indian boys playing cricket in the street with a new tennis ball provided to them. Photo is taken in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Problems:

Membership & Privileges

Member associations do not have uniform rules for membership. Some associations allow clubs and individuals, others only have clubs while the rest have both individuals and patrons.

There exist very few guidelines for admission. Former Indian cricketers are denied membership to these associations.

Promotion of the game is hardly the priority at some associations. Tickets to games are made available to members first reducing the number available to fans substantially.

Associations are housed on premises at stadia constructed on leased premises.

Posts & Tenures

No specified terms for posts and no limits on the number of terms for an administrator are the main problem areas highlighted in this scection.

Voting

Proxy voting has given rise to unscrupulous practices when it comes to holding elections at member associations.

Compliance

Are member associations registered as not-for-profit entities compliant? It does not appear so.

Furthermore, associations registered as societies are less transparent than bodies registered under the Companies Act.

Expenditure & Infrastructure

The exists no or little accountability for the grants for ‘development of cricket’ provided by BCCI to members.  The facilities at stadiums remain abysmal and very few wickets or grounds outside of existing stadium are developed.

Lack of professionalism

There exist no separate layers for governance and management. Accounting systems are maintained on an ad-hoc basis.

Member associations lack vision and drive to generate revenue streams for themselves. They depend largely on the BCCI’s largesse.

Dual posts

The Lodha Commission prefers that when an administrator is elected to the Board, he/she must not be allowed to continue as an administrator at their respective state associations. This would prevent conflict of interest situations arising. National interest must come first.

Interference in selection

Merit is ignored when it comes to selecting players. Influence appears to be the main criteria. States are not fielding or selecting their best available talent.

Transparency

Transparency is lacking.

Constitution, bye-laws, accounts, expenditure, ethics guidelines and player statistics are rarely available or up to date on association websites.


The Lodha Commission states:

“Each State Association will necessarily have a website that carries the following minimum details:

  1. The Constitution, Memorandum of Association and Rules & Regulations, Bye-Laws and Office Orders and directions that govern the functioning of the Association, its Committees, the Ombudsman and the Ethics Officer.
  2. The list of Members of the Association as well as those who are defaulters.
  3. The annual accounts & audited balance sheets and head-wise income and expenditure details.
  4. Details of male, female and differently abled players representing the State at all age groups with their names, ages and detailed playing statistics.
  5. Advertisements and invitations for tenders when the Association is seeking supply of any goods or services (exceeding a minimum prescribed value), or notices regarding recruitment, as also the detailed process for awarding such contracts or making such recruitments.
  6. Details of all goals and milestones for developing cricket in the State along with timelines and the measures undertaken to achieve each of them.
  7. Details of all office bearers and other managerial staff (including CEO, COO, CFO, etc.)
  8. Details of directives from the BCCI and their compliances.

These websites will have to be maintained and updated at least on a quarterly basis. All the above information will have to be maintained at the registered office of the State Association and when sought, the same shall be shared with the applicant on the payment of a reasonable fee, as may be prescribed by the Association.”

The Lodha panel further dictates that the BCCI should encourage State associations to have as many cricketing grounds and fields instead of multiple stadia. This will enable greater usage and access. Existing grounds and facilities should be renovated and converted to turf wickets thus making international standard facilities available at a young age.

Furthermore, existing stadium should be made multi-sport facilities enabling other games such as hockey and tennis to be hosted if necessary.

Why isn’t recusal good enough for Roger Binny’s conflict of interest?


Is Shashank Manohar going too far with his conflict of interest reforms?

South Zone selector Roger Binny is under the hammer.

The proposed 29-point-agenda foresees serving notice to selectors who have financial or business interests with players.

Stuart Binny, Roger’s son, is currently a contender for the ODI and Test sides.

He enjoys the support of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

Binny Sr. has always recused himself from committee deliberations whenever his son’s case came up.

A senior BCCI official, speaking to Times of India, said:

“I believe he should step down from his post. His work as national selector has been impeccable but with Stuart part of the Indian team, the ‘conflict of interest’ issue might come up in different quarters.

The board is planning to implement the points suggested by Manohar into its constitution and if and when it is done, Roger’s position may directly be in conflict.The rest of the selectors still have one more year on their term and may be asked to continue.”

The precedent cited is that of Manohar’s son Adwait stepping down from his positions in the BCCI soon after his dad took over the board to avoid any conflict of interest.

BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary said:

“The points made by the president are only suggestions at the moment, which will come up for discussion at the AGM. If the consensus in the board is on incorporating some of these points into the constitution, it’ll be done.

However, regarding conflict of interest over Roger, we are not part of the selection meetings and don’t know if Roger is present when his son’s name comes up for discussion. So it’s very difficult to prove a conflict in this case.”

The said requirements are way too stringent.

What the BCCI seems to imply is that an ex-cricketer can be a selector as long as his relatives are not competing for a spot in any of the sides the national selectors oversee.

Once his relatives are serious challengers, out goes the selector!

The practice of recusal is well-known and is often used to address a perceived conflict of interest.

To provide an analogy:

A university professor whose son or daughter were students in his or her class would not be stopped from teaching their class.

He or she would however not be allowed to set examination papers or mark results of the entire class.

The above is an example of recusal at its simplest.

It is the principle that ought to be applied to conflict of interest issues with national selectors when the reasons why they are in contravention are filial.

Conflict of interest issues, such as above, could be handled on a case-by-case basis.

The rules follow the principles and not vice-versa.

Shashank Manohar is inclined towards a stricter interpretation of the law. Even a perceived conflict of interest is to be summarily dealt with.

An India player is worth much more on the IPL auction block than a junior or Ranji cricketer.

Follow this thread of thought and you’ll understand the reasoning behind the latest BCCI thrust.

The law can be an ass sometimes and a stricter law a bigger ass.

Are the proposed diktats practical given the current dispensation where administrators and ex-cricketers have their fingers in more than one pie?

Can the BCCI attract enough ex-sportspersons to keep its machinery going?

Its pockets are deep enough.

Indo-Pak cricketing ties derailed by opportunistic politics and unrealistic expectations


It’s a crying shame, really.

Shahryar Khan, former Pakistan Foreign secretary.

Shahryar Khan, former Pakistan Foreign secretary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shashank Manohar may have begun ‘Operation Clean-Up’ on the right foot but the even-handed BCCI President couldn’t prevent Shiv Sena activists from barging into his headquarters in Mumbai and disrupting the scheduled bilateral series talks with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) counterpart Shahryar Khan.

Boria Majumdar puts it aptly in his column:

“In India we celebrate cultural tolerance and plurality, we are forever ready to uphold freedom of expression and speech and most importantly are always open to dialogue. What happened in Mumbai goes against the very grain of what we stand for and that’s what has left us all with a sour aftertaste. Had Shashank Manohar been able to tell Shahryar Khan that the series is off because the situation is not conducive or the government has not given bilateral cricket a go ahead, it would have been far better for both cricket Boards. But to see a meeting stymied by a few political extremists who barged into the office of the BCCI president, which was left unguarded and to see these pictures being transmitted round the world is rather disconcerting.”

Shiv Sena

Shiv Sena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The shame is not that a bilateral series between the two countries has once again been pushed onto the back-burner.

To be realistic, if the two boards were really intent on continuing relations, they could have easily opted to play in Abu Dhabi (as other cricketing nations have been doing) thus avoiding security concerns and untoward elements in either country.

That is not the nub of the issue.

If you were to read the newspapers and media reactions to Pakistani writers, cricketers and artistes, you would believe that anti-Pakistan sentiments are at an all-time high.

Is that really so?

Isn’t it more likely that certain opportunistic parties have raised the bogeyman once more to gain political mileage and divert attention of the general public from more pressing concerns about governance or rather the lack of it?

The more closely you look at the matter, the more apparent it becomes that having any sort of ties with the ‘enemy’ across the North-West border is a political decision. The mandarins in New Delhi have the final say.

Perhaps, realpolitik dictates otherwise.

For actual progress to occur, a nod must begin from the Prime Minister’s office and then only can the nation rest assured that change is in the air.

A bottom-up push is not the way to build bridges across a diplomatic divide.

That would be a revolution.

Shashank Manohar presides over cleaning up of BCCI’s IPL


Newly elected BCCI President Shashank Manohar hit his straps and struck the right notes at its Working Committee meeting last Sunday.

The decisions that the general public evinced most interest in were the ones pertaining to who would replace Pepsi as the title sponsor, whether the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royal franchises would be terminated or suspended and what would be the particulars of the newly framed conflict of interest rules within the cricketing body.

The Board did not disappoint.

Pepsi logo (1970-1991) In 1987, the font was m...

Pepsi logo (1970-1991) In 1987, the font was modified slightly to a more rounded version which was used until 1991. This logo is now used for Pepsi Throwback (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pepsi are expectedly out.

Surprise, surprise, it’s not Paytm replacing them but Vivo mobiles. That’s pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Fair enough, given that Vivo agreed to the deal at the same price that Pepsi signed on.

Paytm would have been hard-pressed to match that.

The BCCI, after all its fulminations and discussions with the franchises’ owners, submitted to Justice Lodha committee’s dictates suspending the CSK and RR franchises for two years. The show must go on though—with eight teams.

Tenders will be floated and bids invited for two fresh franchises—once more making it a 10 team league in 2018.

Good enough.

It is the proposed conflict of interest rules that have raised a hue and cry within the BCCI and the state associations.

Shashank Manohar has taken a leaf out of his judicial textbook and drafted a stringent set of stipulations for administrators, selectors, commentators and players.

You could swear you heard a collective groan within the cosy cricketing fraternity.

To the highest bidder goes the spoils.

And you can rest assured that ex-cricketers will be scrambling to join the IPL band-wagon where the highest paymasters reside.

The guidelines will be tabled at the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 9th November 2015 at the BCCI Headquarters in Mumbai.

Manohar certainly means business when it comes to cleaning up the IPL mess.

No further comment.

Shashank Manohar: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 12: ICC ...

Shashank Manohar is Reclusively Recused

What he said:

“I wanted to give Modi no ground for complaint.”

Ex-BCCI President, Shashank Manohar, elaborates on why he recused himself from the disciplinary committee looking into alleged misdemeanours and violations by ex-IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi.

Manohar—a lawyer by profession—said:

The truth is he called me sometime in early May 2010, and told me that he would be making an allegation (questioning my neutrality) against me in the media. He said, ‘The truth is only known to you and me and I know that as per your nature you will not speak to the media.’ He also told me that Srinivasan was also involved in a few wrongdoings. I told Modi to point those out and assured him of action against Srinivasan too if he was indeed involved. He never got back.

What Shashank Manohar really meant:

“Lalit Modi made his point. Ipso facto, I recused myself.”

What Shashank Manohar definitely didn’t:

“Cleaning the BCCI’s Augean stables is right up my alley.”

Shashank Manohar: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - OCTOBER 12: ICC ...

What he said:

“It is not as if the BCCI is a closed-door body.”

BCCI President, Shashank Manohar, defends the cricket board’s right to stay independent. The Indian sports ministry is seeking to classify the richest sports body in the world as a national federation under the proposed National Sports (Development) Bill 2011. It is believed that the move would make the BCCI accountable under the Right To Information (RTI) act—a view contested by the BCCI.

Manohar reacted claiming that the BCCI “being a non-governmental organization, which has its own constitution and generates its own funds” does not fall under any of the applicable categories.

“In fact, there are two orders passed by the country’s Chief Information Commissioner wherein it has been clearly stated that the RTI Act doesn’t apply to the BCCI."

The Board President contended:

“All said and done, cricket is the best administered sport in the country.”

What he really meant:

“How can we have a closed door policy? There is no door. Lalit Modi’s generous tweets and disclosures (from UK) battered it down.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“The BCCI is sanctioning the building of a fresh office—all glass.”

 

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