New Delhi: Meetings and counter meetings ruled the roost as the affiliated units of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), along with the bigwigs of the board, met in Mumbai on Sunday.
At the end of the day, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly is leading the race to be the next BCCI President, while ex-India batsman Brijesh Patel is likely to bag the position of IPL Chairman.
Jay Shah and Arun Dhumal are being seen as the other new faces who will take control of the BCCI when the Committee of Administrators (CoA) hand over power to the BCCI office bearers on October 23.
While Brijesh Patel was leading the race to take over as President, Ganguly is said to have made it clear that he wanted only one post, unless Jay Shah was becoming the next BCCI chief. It will be interesting to see who between Jay Shah and Arun Dhumal be the Secretary and who will be made the Treasurer. Jay Shah could in fact be the Treasurer.
But there was more to the Sunday post-lunch back-door meetings than just two names emerging as the next faces of the BCCI, as it was a three-way battle between Brijesh, Jay Shah and Ganguly. The former India captain was also offered the post of IPL Chairman, but it is being said that Ganguly turned down the offer at around 6 p.m. on Sunday evening.
But it all started on Saturday evening.
The long meeting between the bigwigs of Indian cricket administration in the national capital on Saturday ended without a unanimous decision. While the likes of Anurag Thakur, N. Srinivasan, Sourav Ganguly, Rajeev Shukla and Niranjan Shah met in the capital, a few senior members, who will represent their respective associations in the BCCI elections, had their own closed door meeting in Mumbai.
The likes of Jayesh George and Prabhtej Patel could also be handed the other hot seats in what will be a fresh start for the BCCI office bearers after the CoA regime comes to an end.
The affiliated units of the board will now be apprised of these names as Monday is the last date for filing nominations for the office bearers' posts and the five candidates are set to do the same in person.
While Ganguly's name was all but certain for the position of President till Sunday afternoon, the stalwarts of the game believed that Jay Shah and Brijesh could be slightly ahead in the race with the latter becoming the President and Jay Shah taking over as Secretary.
Those aware of the jigsaw that is BCCI politics believed that a final call would be taken only during dinner on Sunday in Mumbai and that is exactly how it panned out.
"The old warhorses felt that the way forward was to have equal representation, and while only five names can be given for the top spots, the Apex Council will also see a similar widespread representation. The idea is to give people their right to express themselves," a BCCI functionary told IANS.
It will also be interesting to see how the Supreme Court decides to act on the Electoral Officer's decision to disqualify eight full members of the board as they were not fully compliant with the newly registered constitution of the BCCI.
"We are approaching the Supreme Court on Monday. Basically, the recommendation by the CoA was sent to the Electoral Officer and the Amicus Curiae. Since the officer has said that we are not qualified, we will go to the court. That is the only option left because the court allowed us to conduct the elections and said the disqualification didn't apply to the Apex Council members which is what has been incorporated," an official of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) had told IANS.