Dubai: The Indian cricket board’s preparations for the IPL 2020 can continue unabated for now as Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah, the president and secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), respectively, got lifelines for two weeks after a Supreme Court bench on Wednesday agreed to hear the plea filed by the board.
The bench was meant to hear BCCI’s plea on Wednesday, which has now been tabled twice - first in December, 2019 and then again in April. The board had proposed several amendments to the board’s constitution, including the most contentious one about the ‘cooling-off’ period, which affected Ganguly’s stint. The former Indian captain’s cooling off period was scheduled to have started after July 27 while Shah’s period in the sidelines has already started from May.
The BCCI, in their repeated pleas, sought an extension to the tenures of Ganguly and Shah as the president and secretary, respectively, till 2025. The Bench on Wednesday was headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao.
Ganguly and Shah took over in October 2019 after getting elected unanimously, ending two years of caretaker rule in the BCCI by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators. However, as per the recommendations of Justice R.M.Lodha, they were supposed to step aside after a cumulative period of six years in cricket administration - Ganguly having been the President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) while Shah was the joint secretary of the Gujarat Cricket Association.
During Wednesday’s virtual session, Harish Salve joined from London pleading on behalf of Anurag Thakur who was removed as BCCI president by the Supreme Court. Thakur’s brother, Arun Dhumal, is currently the treasurer of the world’s richest cricket board.
Kapil Sibal, meanwhile, represented Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) and wanted BCCI to release funds. The Tamil Nadu, according to media reports, has not yet complied with the new BCCI constitution that itself has come under threat from the Ganguly-Shah dispensation.
Meanwhile, the secretary of the Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), Aditya Verma on Tuesday said that his lawyers won’t oppose a cooling-off period waiver for Ganguly and Shah when the matter is heard in the apex court. ‘‘I have maintained before that Dada (Sourav Ganguly) is the best man to lead the Indian cricket board,’’ he told Gulf News over phone.
Verma, incidentally, was the whistle-blower whose Public Interest Litigation (PIL) into the functioning of the IPL had opened the door for the apex court to step into the running of the BCCI in 2015.