Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Well-known lawyer Shashank Manohar is set to become the BCCI president for a second time on Sunday, when a special general meeting takes place in Mumbai to elect the successor of Jagmohan Dalmiya, who passed away on September 20.
No one filed nomination to oppose 58-year-old Manohar by the end of the deadline for filing and withdrawing candidature by Saturday evening, announced the BCCI. “The BCCI has received the nomination of Mr. Shashank Manohar’s candidature for the president’s post. He has been nominated by all six associations from the east zone,” the Board said in a statement on Saturday evening.
The six east zone cricket associations are: the Sourav Ganguly-headed Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa, and the National Cricket Club, which was also headed by Dalmiya. According to the BCCI constitution, it was mandatory for Manohar to get nominations from the east zone and not from any other zone.
“But since this election was necessitated to fill a vacancy, the seconder, which was required to be also from the same [east] zone at the March AGM, can now be from any other zone,” a top BCCI official told Jantakareporter.com, explaining the rules.
All BCCI office-bearers need just one proposer and seconder for contesting election. But there is no restriction in having more than one set of proposer and seconder, like it was done in the case of former president N. Srinivasan in 2013 when he was elected unanimously with multiple sets of proposers and seconders.
Manohar, who was BCCI president from 2008 to 2011 in his first stint, has the support of both powerful groups within the Board – that of Sharad Pawar, of which he is an integral part, and the union minister Arun Jaitley-controlled BJP voters.
Since the BCCI is presently without a president, the 29-member general body (minus the suspended Rajasthan) would first elect a chairman at the special general meeting, scheduled to start at 2 pm, before transacting business.
“Andhra Cricket Association secretary Gokaraju Ganga Raju, also a BJP member of Parliament, is expected to be elected chairman of the meeting,” said the Board official.
Manohar, widely known for his impeccably clean image, was initially reluctant to take up the responsibility. But he changed his mind after both Pawar and Jaitley joined hands to support the Nagpur-based lawyer, thus scuttling whatever glimmer of hope that N. Srinivasan group had of creating an upset.
There are indications that Srinivasan, chairman of the ICC and president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), himself is unlikely to attend the SGM.
“Tomorrow’s meeting should get over in a few minutes,” said the official, referring to the complete disappearance of the Srinivasan group.
There could more trouble for Srinivasan as a BCCI petition, seeking to know if he could attend the much-delayed AGM due to a conflict-of-interest position, is coming up for a hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon.
If the court restricts Srinivasan from attending the AGM it would further erode his standing, say his opponents in the BCCI. They also indicate that the general could nominate another BCCI official – possibly Manohar – to replace Srinivasan as ICC chairman.
Srinivasan’s term as ICC chairman ends in June next year.
But before the AGM, the BCCI would have to convene a working committee meeting to decide the date of the AGM. “Depending on what the Supreme Court says on Monday, an emergent working committee meeting could be convened within 48 hours by giving a three-day notice. The date for the AGM could be decided at the working committee meeting,” explained the official.