On August 28, the much-awaited working committee meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was called off by the board's chief Jagmohan Dalmiya to oppose the presence of former president N Srinivasan. As much as it would have irked Srinivasan, the adjournment of the meeting also raises questions on BCCI's administrative efficacy at a time when Indian cricket is in dire need of decisive and effective leadership off the field.
In the past three meetings comprising three committees (involving 60 individuals), the BCCI has splashed a lot of money, without making a single important decision. According to a report in the TOI, a typical working committee meeting (including 24 members as invitees and half-a-dozen BCCI staff) costs the Indian cricket board approximately Rs 50 lakh.
The meetings between the BCCI's finance committee (seven members) and IPL governing council (17 members) held in Kolkata over two days recently, would have approximately cost Rs 70-80 lakh to the cricket board. The expenditure includes air tickets (to and fro business class), five-star hotel accommodation (two nights) and Travel & Daily allowance.
For a cricket board that's responsible for approximately 70 per cent of the ICC's gross revenue, the amount spent on the meetings might be peanuts, but it surely sums up the state of affairs in the board at the helm of Jagmohan Dalmiya who was voted to power in March earlier this year.
The BCCI could have saved lakhs
The ICC chairman, N Srinivasan, had made his intentions pretty clear that he wanted to attend the working committee meeting as a representative of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), on August 28, in Kolkata. The BCCI members had also voiced their discomfort against Srinivasan's presence ahead of the meeting. Despite seeking legal opinion on the issue, the BCCI went ahead as scheduled only to see it end with an unsavoury stalemate and ended up wasting lakhs of rupees without making a single important decision.
IPL restructuring gets delayed
In the August 28 meeting, the BCCI's working committee was supposed to discuss the report of the four-member working group on the roadmap for conducting the IPL in the wake of the two-year suspension of two franchises - Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals - by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha committee. Plus, the IPL Governing Council's recommendations to invite fresh tenders for two new teams was another crucial agenda for the meeting, which was eventually adjourned.
It has already been six weeks since the Lodha committee gave its verdict in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing case and with the new season fast-approaching, the adjournment of the working committee meeting only highlights BCCI's reluctance to address the issues plaguing the cash-rich T20 league.
India's search for head coach continues
Though the appointment of India's next head coach was not on the agenda of the meeting, the BCCI working committee was subjected to ask the Cricket Advisory Committee, comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman to finalise the name. Following Duncan Fletcher's exit after the World Cup, the Indian cricket team has been playing under the guidance of Team Director Ravi Shastri instead of a head coach. The BCCI's indecisiveness to appoint a suitable coach for the Indian team was already known and the recent adjournment of the working committee meeting is only going to drag the issue forward.