M A I N   N E W S

Cricket board AGM put off for two months
Subhrangshu Gupta

Indian Cricket Board President Ranbir Mahendra speaks with mediapersons in Kolkata on Friday.
Indian Cricket Board President Ranbir Mahendra (centre) speaks with mediapersons in Kolkata on Friday. Fierce in-fighting among board officials forced the postponement of its annual general meeting, and elections that will now be held on November 30, 2005. — Reuters photo

Kolkata, September 23
The 76the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was adjourned sine die here today.

The Jagmohan Dalmiya group obtained an order of the Calcutta High Court for the cancellation of the appointment of two additional observers for the BCCI elections, Justice K.N. Sen and Justice M.M. Punchi.

The cancellation order reached the meeting room when the members were sitting again after lunch.

Subsequently, the AGM and the elections were postponed for two months till the several court cases pending in different courts were disposed of.

The Sharad Pawar group decided to file a fresh petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the Calcutta High Court’s decision.

BCCI President Ranbir Singh Mahendra later announced that the AGM would be convened again before November 30.

Mr Dalmiya and Mr Mahendra were seen coming out of the meeting room with smiling faces, while Mr Pawar, Dr Farooq Abdullah and Mr Raj Singh Dungarpur walked out of the corridor with grim faces.

Earlier, utter confusion prevailed in the meeting room on the legal battles.

PTI adds: “It has been resolved by members that elections take place on or before November 30. We will announce the dates shortly,” Mr Ranbir Singh Mahendra told mediapersons after the adjournment.

He claimed that a resolution to this effect was passed with majority support, except the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), which opposed it.

Mr Sharad Pawar, fielded by the rebels against the Dalmiya nominee,

Mr Mahendra, tended to agree with the decision, saying the postponement had to be decided as some of the members whose presence was needed had to leave the city by the evening.

He gave no indication as to whether his supporters would take the issue to Supreme Court.

As the two additional observers packed their bags after a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court directed that Justice Suhas Chandra Sen would be the lone observer, RCA counsel Milind Gokhle said efforts were being made to move the Supreme Court shortly.

“If we cannot do it today, then we will file the case on Monday. We have full faith in the judiciary, but we have also the right to appeal,” Mr Gokhle said.

Mr Dalmiya said the meeting had to be adjourned to put a full stop to the process of acrimony. “We have put a hand brake on the acrimony through the adjournment,” he said.

Apparently unhappy over the stiff opposition from the dissident group, which was backing Mr Pawar, Mr Dalmiya said, “People say the BCCI is the best-administered board, but whatever has happened in the last few days is not good. We are a role model only on paper.”

Mr Pawar, who had fought against Mr Mahendra last year, lost the battle for presidency by a single vote.

Mr I.S. Bindra, a Dalmiya detractor, said the spirit in which the meeting had ended was a good beginning. “I hope the next two months are utilised in the same spirit in which we ended the meeting,” he said.

Mr Mahendra said it was decided at today’s meeting to include Mr Pawar and Mr N. Srinivasan in the Marketing Committee and gave the host association the green signal for making its own arrangement with regard to television rights for the upcoming Challenger Trophy.


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