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Image make-over, Srini’s future on BCCI AGM’s top agenda

Sweeping reforms to revive its battered image, including the appointment of an ombudsman, and former chief N Srinivasan’s future as ICC Chairman will dominate the agenda when the BCCI holds its 86th Annual General Meeting here on Monday.

Appointment of the Ombudsman, or Ethics Officer, is one of the key changes that have been proposed in the BCCI’s Memorandum of Rules and Regulations to be taken up at the AGM.

With the soon-to-be-delivered recommendations over governance reforms by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Lodha Committee hanging over them, the Board members are all set to clear the way for this pathbreaking move which was announced by Shashank Manohar after being re-elected as the BCCI president last month. The Ombudsman will be appointed “to deal with the complaints of Conflict of Interest and any act of indiscipline or misconduct or violation of any of the Rules and Regulations of the Board by an administrator,” as per the wordings of the clause that has been proposed to be taken up at the AGM. The AGM, which was postponed by more than a month from its normal late September date, is expected to put in place strict compliance protocols to the Conflict of Interest regulations in the wake of the Supreme Court’s cracking of the whip on this matter.

But Manohar will need all his negotiating skills as a practising lawyer to get it passed without diluting the reach and scope of the Conflict of Interest Clause. It will be interesting to see whether the BCCI general body will decide to retain its former president and Tamil Nadu strongman N Srinivasan as its representative on the International Cricket Council as the chairman.

There have been news reports recently that BCCI would change its nomination vis-a-vis ICC and name Manohar as the new chairman till the next Annual Conference of the world governing body in June when the Indian board-nominated person’s term comes to an end. Srinivasan is not scheduled to attend the AGM and Tamil Nadu CA is to be represented by VP P S Raman. If the BCCI decides to change his name in favour of Manohar to be forwarded to the ICC, it will mark a complete end to Srinivasan’s hold in the Board.

Another important change in the proposed clauses is about the BCCI president approving every team picked by the national selection panel.

The existing clause says that the president “shall approve the composition of the team selected by the Selection Committee”, while the proposed clause reads,”The President, along with the Office Bearers, shall approve the composition of a team selected by the National Selection Committee from time to time.” 

The AGM is also set to elect new senior, junior and women’s selection panels and the proposed stricter adherence to conflict of interest clause could lead to the removal of South Zone representative in the Sandeep Patil-led seniors panel - Roger Binny - as his son Stuart is an active player.

The general body is also set to constitute a new IPL Governing Council, an important sub committee, and provide a roadmap for the induction of two new teams in place of the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for seasons 9 and 10 of the T20 League. But with another proposal to limit the number of persons in each sub committee to eight, the size of the IPL Governing Council, which is currently headed by Rajeev Shukla, is also expected to be cut down drastically.

If the proposal is cleared, the IPL GC would in future consist of five members of the Board, of which one will be the Chairman, three individuals of repute with expertise in finance/administration plus the BCCI’s office bearers as ex-officio members.

All decisions of IPL would have to be taken by a majority and in case of equality, the chairman can exercise his casting vote. The GC would have a separate bank account for IPL to be maintained by the BCCI’s Treasurer, while also periodically submit a report, along with all decisions taken, to the succeeding meeting of the Board’s Working Committee for its approval. 

Cricketers to be governed by conflict of interest rule
With the BCCI planning to bring strict conflict of interest rules for even current cricketers, they would not be allowed to have business interest in the player management companies which represent them.
The proposed conflict of interest clause will be tabled at the 86th AGM of the BCCI here on Monday.

The players also have to declare the player management firm or person representing them to the Board and cannot sign an endorsement deal with a sponsor which is a competitor to the BCCI sponsor, including apparel. It has also been proposed that the current lot of players should not be on board in a controlling position of a commercial organisation that has signed a contract with the Board or its affiliates. Retired cricketers on BCCI’s payroll or contracted to the Board should not be part of the Board’s various committees, including the IPL Governing Council, as per another proposal on the same issue.

As per the clause, national coaches and selectors should not be associated with any private coaching academies or with player management company or player agent, even in honorary capacity, or pen newspaper columns or be contracted with print or electronic media during their tenure.

Selectors should also not be a member of any managing committee of the BCCI’s affiliates.
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