Former wicketkeeper-batsman MSK Prasad was named chairman of selectors, while Ajay Shirke was re-elected Secretary in the BCCI’s 87th Annual General Meeting on Wednesday during which the Board decided to call for an emergent meet on September 30 to consider implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations here.
The AGM was held under the shadow of Lodha Committee recommendations, which have called for sweeping reforms in the Board’s functioning, something that the BCCI has distinctly opposed.
“The emergent Special General Meeting of the BCCI will be held on September 30 at 11 AM IST at the BCCI headquarters, Mumbai to consider the amendments to the rules and regulations of BCCI as recommended by Hon’ble Justice Lodha Committee,” the Board said in a statement.
In Wednesday’s meeting, the Board decided to appoint a selection committee in complete defiance of the Lodha Committee guidelines, which had called for a three-member panel instead of five with all members having Test experience.
In fact, the new selection committee has a combined international experience of 13 Tests and 31 ODIs. The BCCI chose Prasad to lead the new senior selection committee, replacing Sandeep Patil.
The 41-year-old Prasad, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, played six Tests and 17 ODIs in his brief international career.
Gagan Khoda, who has not played any Test cricket was retained in the committee from the central zone.
Devang Gandhi, Jatin Paranjpe and Sarandeep Singh were the new additions to the selection panel. Of the three, Paranjpe does not have Test experience and has only played ODIs.
Former India seamer Venkatesh Prasad was retained as chairman of the junior selection committee. Incidentally, the former pacer has far more experience than the senior selection committee chairman.
The Board claimed that Wednesday’s AGM was meant to ensure that the “day-to-day operations of the BCCI are not hampered particularly in view of the ongoing major national and international tournaments, commitments and is subject to the orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.”
Among other decisions taken on Wednesday, Shirke, who was the lone nominee for the Secretary’s position, retained the job, while the audited statement of accounts for the year ending March 31, 2016 and the budget for the year 2016-17 were approved.
With the term of its first Ombudsman A P Shah drawing to an end, the “House authorised the President and Hony Secretary to appoint Ombudsman for the year 2016-17”.
Another noteworthy decision was to nominate Board President Anurag Thakur as India’s representative in the ICC and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).
Former BCCI and ICC President Sharad Pawar was chosen to be the Board’s alternate director for ICC meetings. Shirke, meanwhile, will represent BCCI in the CEC meeting of the ICC.
Besides, the House approved the proposal to take possession of alternate land offered by the Karnataka Government in lieu of the earlier land, which was allotted but not handed over at Bengaluru.
The Lodha panel had directed the BCCI that the AGM must be “limited only to routine business concerning the past year (2015-16)”.
Already Aditya Verma, secretary of the non-affiliated Cricket Association of Bihar the petitioner in the case in the SC against the Board, has requested the Lodha panel to start “contempt of court” proceedings against the BCCI by pointing out the agenda for the meeting.
For the first time, the Board had called prospective candidates willing to serve as selectors for interviews and the BCCI secretary said it was a fruitful process in which the Board’s officials came to know about their vision for the national senior and junior squads.
Shirke defended the choice of the new selection panel members who don’t have the sort of international experience of previous committees and said, “That will be judged by the performance of the team. The proof of the pudding is ultimately in the eating.”