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SIX years on, J&K Cricket without ELECTED body; BCCI silent

FeatureSIX years on, J&K Cricket without ELECTED body; BCCI silent

Srinagar: It has been more than six years as cricket governing body of J&K, the J&K Cricket Association (JKCA), is run by few chosen persons in the absence of elected body while BCCI continues to act as mute spectator.

The last elected body that ran J&K Cricket affairs was in 2017, with Iqbal Shah being its lat General Secretary and Imran Reza Ansari as last President.

The J&K High Court in 2017 appointed Justice C. K. Prasad, former judge of the Supreme Court, and Justice Syed Rafat Alam, former Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh and Allahabad High Courts, as Administrators of the JKCA. The CAA was asked to ensure free and fair election in JKCA and amend rules in JKCA in line with the Lodha Committee recommendations.

On December 6, the Court upheld the judgment of a Single Judge and ordered the disputes between different clubs of JKCA to be resolved by an Ombudsman, appointed by the Court. Later the Court appointed Justice Syed Bashir-du-din (retired) as the Ombudsman.

The Division Bench also appointed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, former DIG of J&K Police as Chief Executive Officer(CEO) to assist the CAA in managing the affairs of the JKCA.

However, as administrators and its CEO failed to conduct the elections, the same J&K High Court in 2021 handed the affairs of JKCA to its main governing body of Country, BCCI.

The J&K High Court on March 23, 2021 asked the Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) to take control of the cricketing activities in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh until elections in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) are completed.

In a judgment, a Division Bench comprising Justices Ali Muhammad Magrey and Puneet Gupta directed the BCCI to ensure that the newly drafted Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations by Court Appointed Administrators (CAA) are in line with the Lodha Committee recommendations.

“Instead, in our opinion, now that the BCCI, which is tasked with the overall governing/ controlling of the activities of the game of cricket in India and of which the JKCA is an affiliate member, is in position with its newly approved Constitution, it is the said body which shall be the appropriate authority to answer the above-formulated question in the light of its newly approved Constitution,” it said.

“Besides, the BCCI has also filed an application for handing over the affairs of the JKCA to it till such time the elections of the office bearers of the JKCA are conducted under its supervision,” it said.

During its apex council meeting in April-2021, the BCCI set up a committee – spearheaded by Rajeev Shukla and Arun Dhumal – to look into the cricketing affairs in Jammu and Kashmir.

On June 15-2021, BCCI formed a three-member administrative sub-committee to look after the affairs of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association.

The committee – included retired Brigadier Anil Gupta, along with advocate Sunil Sethi and former Delhi-based cricketer Mithun Manhas – to look after the cricket body until the elections are held and to directly coordinate with the Board.

In the same order, former J&K Cricketer Majid Dar (one of the persons who had filed PIL in Court) was appointed as JKCA Srinagar Incharge to work under three member sub-committee. The committee and the Srinagar incharge since have been availing monthly stipends and other benefits on regular basis.

Wasting Years without Elections:

Again, the mandate of both the BCCI and sub-Committee was to conduct elections of JKCA as soon as possible. However, like CAA and CEO who wasted more than four years without conducting elections and installing democratic set-up, the BCCI appointed officials have already wasted more than two years.

The cricket lovers of J&K are desperately waiting to see a full-fledged cricket governing body in J&K instead of a few installed persons who run affairs like dictators.

When J&K High Court handed affairs to BCCI, everyone hoped that finally things would be set in order in the JKCA. However, things took worse turn and now cricketers as well its followers are saying that CAA and CEO was far better set up and genuine than the ones who know cricket.

The CAA and CEO had no knowledge of running cricket affairs but ask anyone in J&K, they will say it was far better with cricketers getting at least opportunities to appear in trials. Though shortfalls and loopholes are in every set-up but in comparison to current set, it was way better, stakeholds claim.

So in other words, we can say BCCI has failed in J&K, so have its installed officials running affairs in JKCA.

Appointing Officials:

The first thing that BCCI appointed JKCA sub-committee did after getting appoined in 2021 was to appoint Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), without any public notification. They were straightaway appointed on Contract without open process like BCCI follows and for what they were appointed, no one knows. Just for Hefty contracts, people say.

After sometime, one of the committee members, owing to differences, resigned and since then it has been a 2-member committee.

The sub-committee has been continuing same advisors, without public invitation again. Both the advisory committee members have other jobs. One works in Government department while other in Air India. One of the two advisory committee members also have relative in contention for J&K teams, a straight conflict of interest.

Why is CAC Important:
The persons appointed by BCCI in the sub-committee are trying to copy everything from BCCI. Even they have copied BCCI website domain name, making it JKCA.tv without realizing BCCI was forced to opt for .TV domain name as dot com and other domains were occupied.

While copying CAC idea, they tried to settle its dear ones in the cricket association, Sub-Committee members failed to apply due process and rules set by by BCCI. The CAC is in charge to appoint selectors, coaches, trainers, and other staff members of the cricket related affairs.

Despite failure, the same set of CAC has been continued, same selectors have been continued and same almost support staff for all the teams have been continued with. Only change has been Head coach of J&K senior men team. Having its own CAC, means easy to appoint all the known persons through them. CAC mostly care about their positions and have most of the times shown reluctance on what is happening in JKCA.

Banning Local Cricket

In shat has been one of the most shocking decisions from the ongoing regime is to ban players from playing local cricket. In a place like J&K where the only form of cricket that takes place is local cricket, banning its players from playing is bizarre. It has made players sit at home with JKCA itself not conducting any activities for most of the year.

Many cricketers are also rendered jobless as they would earn livelihood from playing local cricket. The only income for them right now is the match fee earned from nationals.

Shortlist without Matches, Trials

Another shocker this season has been the shortlisting of players for senior and u-23 categories without conducting any trials at all. Players are highly disheartened as they haven’t been provided even a chance to appear in trials after working hard for whole year.

What is the Headway?

Like previous set-up who was interested in ousting basic founders of JKCA, clubs from the Association, one of the BCCI appointed Sub-Committee members has his own personal interests. The member owns a club that has a dispute in itself. The efforts have been made to manipulate the internal records of JKCA over the years to change the ownership of clubs.

Owing to those things, the cub dispute is not ending. Plus CEO created new Districts without the approval of AGM and Clubs. Hence created more dispute.

BCCI, knowing the rules, need to step in itself now without any Delhi-based person who has personal interests to solve the issue.

The JKCA Constitution has to be amended and put in order on the lines of BCCI. For amendment, AGM has to be convened, meaning clubs have to attend the meeting.

With disputes among some clubs, BCCI needs to check whether Quorum for the AGM is there. If Quorum stands despite dispute, they can go ahead and do the necessary changes and set things in motion.

Then District Associations have to be formed in transparent manner unlike what previous set up did. Once that is done, hold elections and give J&K Cricket what it deserves.

J&K Cricket and its Cricketers don’t deserve decisions made by few Individuals like Dictators and accept them blindly. Imagine if BCCI is run in same way. And again, whatever bad is happening in J&K Cricket, in history it will be blamed on BCCI. JKCA is currently run by BCCI and whatever is happening, good or bad, credit will go to BCCI.

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