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Why this man is taking on BCCI President Ganguly...

By HARISH KOTIAN
Last updated on: August 06, 2020 09:55 IST
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'Jay Shah's tenure as BCCI secretary ended in May.'
'Sourav Ganguly's tenure as BCCI president ended on July 26.'
'Why have they not quit?'

IMAGE: BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, left, with BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. Photograph: BCCI
 

Naresh Makani, who says he is the petitioner in the Indian Premier League fixing scam in 2013, is taking the BCCI head on.

This time, Makani is looking to thwart BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah's plans to amend the BCCI constitution which will see them continue to stay in the Board till 2025.

Ganguly and Shah have to complete a cooling off-period of three years as per Rule 6.4 of the BCCI constitution, which states: 'An office-bearer who has held any post for two consecutive terms either in a State association or in the BCCI (or in a combination of both) shall not be eligible to contest any further election without completing a cooling-off period of three years.'

The BCCI, at its Annual General Meeting in December 2019, had approved changes to its constitution after which it approached the Supreme Court on the same.

The Board wants to amend the 'cooling-off' clause and also separate the tenure in the BCCI from the state association, which will enable Ganguly and Shah to continue at the helm of the BCCI for a few more years.

Makani says he won't let the BCCI get away in its attempt to change its constitution and has filed an application in the Supreme Court against it. His plea will be heard on August 17.

"Their application is to modify the three-year cooling-off period for administrators in the BCCI. So I am saying that if you want to make changes, then why not change the entire process? Let's go back to before 2013 and bring back people like N Srinivasan, Anurag Thakur and Rajeev Shukla," Makani tells Harish Kotian/Rediff.com.

"For their convenience they are doing all this. If they didn't accept the reforms, then they should not have come to the BCCI. See, they came to the BCCI and immediately wanted to change the Lodha reforms," Makani points out.

"If you remember, all these people when they were in their state associations -- like when Ganguly was in Bengal, Jay Shah in Gujarat, Arun Dhumal in Himachal, Jayesh George in Kerala and Mahim Verma in Uttarakhand -- they all accepted the reforms," Makani adds.

"So when they accepted the Lodha reforms in their states, then why do they have an objection after coming to the4 BCCI?" he asks.

Naresh Makhani

IMAGE: Naresh Makani, who says he is the petitioner in the Indian Premier League fixing scam in 2013. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Naresh Makhani/Facebook

As per the BCCI constitution, Shah -- Union Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah's only child -- finished his tenure in May. Ganguly's tenure ended on July 26, but the duo have still not quit, points out Makani.

"Jay's tenure finished in May; he should have quit then. Today, if you see, the BCCI has no president, no vice-president (Mahim Verma), no secretary. Even the joint-secretary (Jayesh George), his tenure ends in September. Only Arun Dhumal, the treasurer, is eligible to complete his tenure of three years. So they should have appointed him joint-secretary at the start itself, so that if Jay Shah doesn't get an extension, then he could take over as secretary."

"Similarly, they should have made Brijesh Patel vice-president, so that if Ganguly doesn't get an extension, then he could take over as president," says Makani.

"This is contempt of court that they are continuing to be in office. But who will tell them that? They should themselves understand that."

Makani, who says he is the treasurer of the now disputed Cricket Association of Jharkhand, stated that if the changes are incorporated then people like Anurag Thakur and Narayanswami Srinivasan should also get a chance to come back as they quit following implementation of the Lodha reforms.

"I have told them that if you want to make changes, then let's change everything and go back to 2013 before the IPL and let's bring back everyone, including Thakur, Ajay Shirke, Srinivasan, Rajeev Shukla and others."

If the Supreme Court rules in favour of the BCCI in amending its constitution, then Makani says he would want an experienced administrator like former Board president N Srinivasan to come back and lead the BCCI.

"Srinivasan is the best, currently, among administrators in the country to take over as BCCI president. He was never involved in any betting or fixing, but still he resigned from his post. I filed a case on May 29 and he resigned on June 2; he never came back or begged that he wants this post," says Makani.

"His daughter (Rupa Gurunath) got elected as TNCA (Tamil Nadu Cricket Association) president, but she never said she wants any post in the BCCI."

Asked why he is taking on the BCCI, asked if he has a personal interest in the matter, Makani replies: "They should come out and say that we are not implementing any of the reforms. I don't want cricket to get affected by all this."

"I was the first to take this matter to the courts and that is why we have reached this stage. So much time and effort has gone into all this, and you suddenly come one day and want to change all this."

Makani says he was the original petitioner in the IPL fixing scam in 2013 after which others like Aditya Verma followed suit and took on the BCCI.

"Within three days of completion of the IPL, I filed a case regarding wrongdoing in the IPL. After I filed the case, everyone jumped into this and filed several cases, including Aditya Verma. It is because of me filing that case that all these changes have changed in the BCCI and IPL."

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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