The full membership of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) was under threat from the day the Supreme Court accepted Lodha Committee's reforms, one of which was `one state-one vote,' but that eventuality now looks inevitable after the association's name was missing amongst the list of full members mentioned in the new Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) constitution put up on the Board's website on Saturday.
The new constitution was finalized by the Supreme Court-Committee of Administrators (COA). As per the new system, the 41-time Ranji champions, who've produced more than 70 Test cricketers, and were once the power centre of Indian cricket, are now associate members of the BCCI and will get to vote once every three years in the Board elections, sharing their turn with Maharashtra (which has been recognised as a full member since it's a state, but gets to vote once in three years) and Vidarbha. In a similar case in Gujarat, Baroda, Saurashtra too are now associate members, with their vote rotating an annual basis.
As expected, all the North Eastern states, including Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and others like Uttarakhand, Bihar and Telangana have been granted full membership and voting rights as recommended in Lodha Panel reforms. The fact that an association which has a huge place in the history of Indian cricket, has lost its full membership status in favour of those states who don't even play in the Ranji Tro phy has left the Mumbai cricket community -both ex-players and admintrators seething.
“It's a joke. I feel sad that the glorious history , tradition and contribution of the association to Indian cricket went unnoticed,“ former India and Mumbai all-rounder-turned commentator, who was recently the Team India director too, Ravi Shastri, told TOI on Sunday . On its part, the MCA had rejected this clause in its Special General Meeting (SGM) in November last year, and it doesn't seem like there'll be a change in its stand in the near future.“The MCA has a long history of cricket, cricketers and administration, so we'll discuss the same in our managing committee meeting (scheduled for this week), and decide,“ said MCA president Ashish Shelar.
This clause was rejected at last year's BCCI SGM by all the states affected by it, but with pressure increasing on all the associations to adopt the Lodha reforms in toto, the MCA may be fighting a lost battle here. “There may not be a need for a Board SGM to approve the new BCCI constitution, since this has already been approved by SC,“ said a source.
A BCCI official explained that the COA didn't have a choice but to give a green signal to the new constitution, since it was drafted by the SC-appointed Lodha Panel and approved by the apex court. “The COA can't even change a comma there. If it would've altered it in any way , then it would've resulted in contempt of court,“ he explained.
The decision to take away the MCA's voting right may seem illogical to many , but a source in the Lodha committee defended the panel's recommendation to allow for just one vote per state in the BCCI. “How are wining 41 Ranji titles and voting in the BCCI connected? Do Brazil get more voting power than India at Fifa? Does Maharashtra get less voting power in tennis and hockey? Mumbai has produced many cricketers because the resources allocated to it have been more. If the same resources were provided to N-E states, maybe even they could've done similarly well,“ he defended.
Interestingly , the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) will now be represented as Telangana in the BCCI, since the latter is a state. But then, these are different times in Indian cricket (establishment).
Courtesy: The Times of India