12 June 2019 last updated at 16:08 GMT
IPL to be held without a chairman for first time
Tuesday 25 December 2018

The Indian Premier League is set to record a first in its 12th edition. For the first time, it will be played without a chairman or commissioner. In fact, there will also be no governing council in place either since the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has disbanded all committees except for the selection committees and the Cricket Advisory Committee — comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior BCCI executive confirmed that there will indeed be no chairman for the upcoming edition of the league as a fresh committee to look after the IPL will be formed only after the Annual General Meeting is held. The dates for the same are yet to be chalked out.

“Yes, the new chairman will be appointed only after elections are conducted and as of now, all IPL matters will be looked into by the CoA, IPL COO, CEO and the office-bearers,” the official said.

IPL franchises have over the years worked closely with the governing council and its chairman and with talks of the league having to be shifted out of the country if the dates of the tournament clashes with the general elections, the need for a chairman and the governing council was all the more important.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior board official said that it was a dangerous sign to have a ship without a captain. “In all its years, this is the first time that the IPL is without a chairman or even a governing council. It is a dangerous situation to be in since the decision making is anything but democratic and even in the past it was such a scenario when decision making was centred in one man, a former IPL chairman, that the BCCI was rocked by financial scandals,” he said.

Pointing further at the Lodha panel proposals, the official said that the CoA was in fact misreading the recommendations and the whole idea of the panel was to ensure that too much power is not concentrated on one hand. “The Lodha panel in its report had said that the idea of the report was to ensure that concentration of too much power in one man is avoided but that seems to be exactly what has been achieved,” he smiled.

The CoA issued a letter on August 23 and handed the majority of the powers to the CEO and the CFO till fresh election is conducted in the BCCI and new members take control. It quoted the August 9 judgment of the Supreme Court and the newly registered constitution of the BCCI in doing so. The CoA also informed the office-bearers that all the committees and sub-committees of the BCCI had been abolished except for the CAC and the duly reconstituted selection committees.

The official said that such a move wasn’t required and that the board would have been better served with experienced hands working in unison rather than one or two people calling the shots.

“If you stop to think about it, there was no real necessity to disband all committees of the BCCI including the IPL Governing Council and this may have been done by the chairman of the CoA only with the objective of usurping all the powers, roles and responsibilities of the BCCI,” he said. 

Another board official went on to give the example of how the CoA formed an ad hoc committee for the selection of the women’s team coach, but there has been no move to help in ensuring the smooth functioning of the board or the IPL even when it is clear that lack of committees has hindered work.

“The Doctrine of Necessity was invoked to constitute a committee to select the women team’s coach even when other options were there, but this doctrine seems to be on an extended holiday in case of the functioning of the BCCI and the IPL. Is this because someone is too attached to the position and power of the BCCI? Maybe Rai is better placed to explain to the courts why an individual wants to continue in administration despite the fact that he is not being paid. Maybe now he can better explain the so called ‘vested interests that make people want to continue as administrators’ that he keeps on harping about,” he signed off.

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