Niranjan Shah CoA BCCI
NCA chairman Niranjan Shah has slammed CoA over their recent actions.

That the officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India and its member bodies were not happy with the Supreme Court meddling in the board’s affairs was very much clear right from the outset when the Lodha Panel was appointed.

And as if it was not enough then the board members were further miffed when the apex court-appointed four eminent personalities from different backgrounds to a panel of administrators to oversee the running of the board until the board can hold fresh elections for office bearers, as per the recommendations of the Lodha Committee.

Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai was appointed the chairman of the panel called Committee of Administrators (CoA) while the other three members were historian Ramachandra Guha, who has left the committee, Diana Edulji, the former India women’s captain, and Vikram Limaye, managing director and CEO of IDFC (Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation).

But while the panel was given the responsibility to oversee the daily administration of the board, it has worked beyond its jurisdiction, like naming the new Team India coach or deliberating on players’ salaries.

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And not surprisingly, the CoA’s active involvement in the cricketing matters has not gone down well with BCCI members. The Supreme Court-appointed panel recently held a meeting of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, and according to India Today, the BCCI office-bearers and NCA top brass were not invited.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, Tufan Ghosh was named as the Chief Operating Officer of the NCA with reports suggesting that the Vinod Rai-led panel had gone ahead with the interview without discussing the matter with NCA.

Infuriated with the turn of events, NCA board chairman Niranjan Shah has written a strongly worded letter to the CoA, making the panel aware of the role the Supreme Court gave it.

“I would respectfully like to state that there is a marked difference between supervision and the actual act of administration. The CoA was inter-alia appointed to supervise the administration of the BCCI which is to take place as per the rules and regulations in place, and accordingly also supervise and control the elected office-bearers of the BCCI. The intent was for the CoA to supervise the administration and not to usurp the administration,” Shah wrote in his letter as per the news outlet.

Furious Niranjan Shah Attacks Committee of Administrators
Vinod Rain heads the CoA

Shah went on to express his surprise over the fact that he was kept in the dark over the whole development despite being the chairman of the NCA, accusing the BCCI of ‘intentionally’ avoiding inviting him.

“For some reason unknown to me, it appears that the BCCI has intentionally avoided inviting me to attend and Chair the NCA meetings. I got to know that the organisation has since appointed Mr Tufan Ghosh as the COO of the NCA. This comes as quite a surprise to me since neither the plan for the NCA nor this post nor the process was ever discussed in a meeting of the NCA in my presence. I am unaware if the same had been presented to the committee of NCA in my absence. I am unable to understand as to why I have been kept out of the work that pertains to the very subcommittee that I chair, i.e. the National Cricket Academy, and the NCA is something which I have worked very hard to nurture and promote over the years,” the letter read.

Shah, who had to step down as secretary of Saurashtra Cricket Association after persons either over 70 or holding office for more than nine years became ineligible, as per Lodha reforms, further questioned the reason, as to why he was not invited to attend the meeting.

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“If the argument was that I am not qualified to be an office bearer of the State Association and hence I ought not to be part of the NCA, the same is incorrect on several levels. (a) The Hon’ble Supreme Court has restricted the disqualification to be an office-bearer; it does not in any way prohibit citizen above the age of 70, or otherwise disqualified officers from being part of the BCCI subcommittees. Even if that was the case, one notices that other individuals who are otherwise disqualified to be office bearers of state associations have been allowed to chair the subcommittees and committees that they are part of,” he said.

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Shah also said there are reports of CoA appointing itself, as the working committee of the BCCI.

“If true, it is shocking, to say the least. It is respectfully submitted that no order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court directs the dissolution of any committee of the BCCI leaves alone the Working Committee. Neither does the Justice Lodha committee report, nor does the Supreme Court suggest that the CoA must usurp the powers of the working committee,” he wrote.

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