Mumbai: Acutely aware of the perceived challenge to their authority by the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), which is luring young domestic cricketers into its fold, the bigwigs of the Cricket Board are girding their loins to meet it head-on.
Monday’s late evening meeting of the BCCI’s office bearers headed by president Sharad Pawar followed by Tuesdya’s Working Committee meeting and two special AGMs convened to amend some clauses of its memorandum of rules and regulations have thus assumed enormous significance.
A direct confrontation between the Essel Group-floated League, which has already roped in India’s lone World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev and West Indian legend Brian Lara, and the BCCI is on the cards with the ICL set to announce later in the day names of the players who have joined it.
It would be interesting to see the manner in which BCCI decides to deal with Kapil Dev, still the head of its National Cricket Academy, as well as other current players, who have joined the rebel organisation.
The ICL and the legal ramifications of any action, including a ban, on those who have joined it would dominate the discussions at the meeting of the BCCI’s Working Committee tomorrow morning.
The proposed amendments, including the one dealing with ‘unauthorised tournaments´, and the punitive action against those who become part of such ventures, would be discussed before being put to vote for approval in one of the two AGMs.
The Board has refused to recognise the ICL and has threatened to debar players, officials and umpires who are part of unapproved tournaments from its activities and to withdraw any benefits they were getting from the BCCI.
Another important amendment to the BCCI constitution deals with the concept of the president-elect, one year before the incumbent’s tenure comes to a close.
Yet another significant proposed amendment deals with the eligibility criteria of junior and senior selectors after the term of the existing selection committees come to an end in 2008.
As per the proposal a senior selector should have played at least 5 Tests of 50 first class matches while a junior selector should have played 25 first class ties.
An additional rider to the qualification criteria as per the proposal is that an aspiring selector should not be part of the managing committee of any unit affiliated to the BCCI and they would be nominated instead of elected as at present.
Currently selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar and two of his co-selectors in the senior selection panel, Sanjay Jagdale and Ranjib Biswal, are part of managing committees of their respective parent bodies which are affiliated to the BCCI.
There’s reportedly another proposed amendment too which will directly affect the national team and the proposal is to empower the future cricket manger/coach with a vote in selection meetings whenever the team is on an overseas visit.
At present, only the captain and vice-captain have votes with the cricket manager/coach attending the meetings and offering his suggestions without voting powers.
The other proposed amendments deal with inclusion of women’s cricket, formation of its selection committees and Twenty20 cricket - all new concepts - into the ambit of the BCCI’s constitution.
How many of these proposals are approved by the SGMs remain to be seen with there being reported opposition to the president-elect concept and the imposition of eligibility criteria on future selectors.