In a significant move which will have far-reaching implications, the BCCI on Saturday amended its constitution to do away with the zonal rotational policy for electing its president and allow a second term to office bearers subject to re-election. The proposals were passed by more than three-fourth majority at a Special General Meeting in Chennai, virtually paving the way for some of the senior officials to occupy or retain key positions in the Board.
The decision to do away with the zonal rotation policy means that East Zone, whose turn it was to nominate a president after N Srinivasan finished his tenure in September 2014 can nominate a suitable candidate from other zone if two state units from east propose that particular candidate's name.
In the new scenario also there was a chance of a contest but BCCI's trends show that decisions are more or less unanimous.
The decision effectively means that decks are now cleared for senior BJP leader and leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley to take over as the BCCI president from September 2014.
An eminent lawyer, Jaitley's legal opinions have played an important role in BCCI's functioning and is seen as one of the most acceptable faces among the presidential candidates.
Had the existing rule been in place, Jaitley who represents DDCA would have only been eligible in 2017 as it would be North Zone's turn then.
The decision to do away with zonal system is primarily due to the fact that two zones – namely East and Central don't have candidates of suitable stature for the post.
"There are virtually no names of significant stature after Jagmohan Dalmiya from the east. The eastern units of BCCI wouldn't have reached unanimity regarding their choice of candidate. So, this was necessary as Mr Jaitley has the stature and also shares a fantastic rapport with units from east," a senior BCCI official who is a part of the working committee told PTI on Saturday.
The second decision to extend the tenure of office-bearers subject to re-election will give the likes of Dalmiya, Shashank Manohar, Srinivasan to get an additional tenure of three more years in the future.
This would also mean that Jaitley whose term comes to an end in 2017 can be re-elected and remain president for six straight years if the Northern units decide against nominating someone from a different zone.
Under the existing BCCI rules, no office bearer, barring the five vice-presidents, are allowed to recontest for the same post once they complete their three-year term.
According to insiders, this move will help the BCCI protect its clout in the ICC where the competent officials can help India maintain its status as a 'powerhouse of international Cricket'.