Chandigarh, Sep 13: Last month, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) announced that it would implement the Lodha Committee reforms mandated by the Supreme Court. It assured BCCI’s Committee of Administrators that the reforms would be made as per the Supreme Court’s rulings.
But is PCA really implementing the reforms? Senior officials of the Punjab Cricket Players Association (PCPA), a body of national/international cricketers from the state, insist that PCA is not implementing the reforms. PCPA president Bhupinder Singh (Sr) and secretary Rakesh Handa insist that in contravention of the Lodha Committee reforms, the state’s national and international cricketers are being kept out of the governance of the sport.
“PCA is holding its AGM on September 24, and they are going to elect the new office-bearers, including president, vice-presidents, secretary and treasurer,” Singh and Handa said in a statement.
“This meeting is in violation of the Supreme Court’s order of July 18, 2016, in which BCCI and the state associations were directed to implement the Lodha Committee reforms. If PCA goes ahead with its AGM and elects office-bearers, we would go to the Supreme Court and request it to intervene.”
Singh and Handa state that PCA has not followed the Lodha Committee reforms on several counts. “One, they have not made the list of their members public,” says Singh. “Two, they have not made all the first class cricketers of the state members of PCA.
Three, PCA’s ad-hoc committee is illegal and the same committee has called for the AGM! The AGM called by an illegal ad-hoc committee has no meaning. Finally, who is going to vote if all the district officials are ineligible? They are ineligible on at least one of the three criteria — age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period, and no government official allowed to be an office-holder.”
“The Supreme Court’s judgement is the law, and it must prevail,” says Singh. “If they don’t make the voter list public, the whole process of elections will remain a secret. The same old people will continue to rule through their proxies.”
“I retired in 1997 after playing for over 10 years in domestic cricket and also representing India. Why was I not taken into the governance of cricket? It is so because they (PCA’s entrenched officials) want to control cricketers,” he says.
“But we’re not going to let them off. They can’t keep on dishonouring the directions of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s order came last year, and they’ve been trying to delay matters for so long as if they have no respect for the highest court of the land.”
Handa and Singh point to the Lodha Committee recommendation (No. 3 under Relationship with State Cricket Associations) that states: “All players from a State who have represented the Nation or the State (played in Ranji Trophy or other National/State level tournaments) shall be given automatic membership in the Cricket Associations of the respective States.”
RP Singla, convenor of the ad-hoc committee currently managing PCA, said that they are going by the Supreme Court’s order. “We’re following the Supreme Court’s order,” Singla said. “We are following the court’s directions about the eligibility of cricketers to be made members.”
Source Tribune India