By Baidurjo Bhose
New Delhi, Oct 21 : Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai has made it clear that the meeting on Wednesday at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) HQ in Mumbai is a General Body Meeting and said that the Annual General Meeting will be called for by new President Sourav Ganguly.
Speaking to IANS, Rai said that there was no issue with the notice sent out to the members for the meeting on Wednesday as it is indeed a General Body meeting and not an AGM as some are calling it.
“It is a General Body meeting because the General Body elects the office bearers. It is a General Body meeting being convened by the CoA to conduct the elections. The CoA has never convened an Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting. The CoA’s mandate was to run the administration of the BCCI and help in the implementation of the Lodha reforms. The General Body comprises all the nominees of the different states,” he explained.
While it was believed that the meeting would be chaired by acting President C.K. Khanna, the old office bearers haven’t been called and Rai confirmed that the committee will chair the meeting. “The meeting will be chaired by the CoA,” he said.
Rai said that Ganguly and his team of new office bearers will call for the AGM and that will be done with a 21-day notice as per the constitution of the BCCI.
“Of course they will call for an AGM. Look at the agenda of this meeting, only two items. Obviously they will have to call for an AGM because they have a lot of appointments to be done, committees to be formed. It is the prerogative of the President (Ganguly) and the Secretary (Jay Shah) to do that. They will need a 21-day notice and he couldn’t have done that earlier because he will officially be the President only after he is declared elected by the Electoral Officer on Wednesday,” the CoA chief pointed.
The agenda of the meeting calls for the adoption of the audited accounts of the BCCI for the financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18 and ratification of the appointment of statutory auditors of BCCI for the financial years 2017-18 and 2018-19.
While treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry is said to have already signed the accounts under protest, some of the other state association officials have also questioned how the accounts can be passed in the October 23 meeting if it isn’t an AGM.
“On one hand, you are saying this is the General Body meeting and then you are also passing the accounts as written in the agenda. If this isn’t the AGM, the accounts should have been passed in the AGM when the new office bearers call for it. If rest of the appointments can wait, why not the accounts?” one of the officials asked.
But Rai begs to differ. “The four-five SGMs that were held in our tenure, which ever account was ready, we would tell them to pass them as the General Body is the one which approves the accounts. This is the next General Body we are having and we are proposing the accounts to them, that is all because the General Body has to pass the account,” he said.
Rai also said that Ganguly’s elevation to the chair is one of the best moves for the future of Indian cricket. “I am exceedingly happy that a former cricketer of the stature of Ganguly, who has been one of our most successful captains has been nominated for election as President because nobody better than him understands cricket and cricket administration because he has been at CAB for so many years. There could have been no other better person to take over is my feeling,” he said.
While there have been questions raised on some of the proposals of the Lodha panel, Rai feels that the fact that four former cricketers are now in the Apex Council of the BCCI shows that the primary motive of bringing former cricketers into the running of the board has been accomplished.
“I am also happy that Brijesh Patel (IPL Chairman) is there and two former players (Anshuman Gaekwad and Shantha Rangaswamy) have come into the Apex Council. So whatever people might say with regards to implementation of the Lodha Panel’s reforms, four former players are going to be in the apex body and we are on a very happy road. You will also have former cricketers in the Cricket Advisory Committee,” he said.