From the recent restructuring of BCCI, it can be said that family names and political connections are enough to help one fetch a seat at BCCI/cricket administration’s center table. As the deadline for filing nominations for BCCI’s October 23 elections ended on Monday, two names which are set to become new members of the BCCI are Jay Shah and Arun Singh Dhumal. Both of them stand unopposed.
Jay Shah, son of Union home minister, Amit Shah is likely to become the secretary of BCCI while Arun Singh Dhumal, younger brother of former BCCI chief and current MoS, Finance, Anurag Thakur, will be treasurer of the board. Jay Shah has been the joint secretary of Gujarat Cricket Association since 2013, while Amit Shah was the president of GCA since 2014. Both of them had stepped down from the position last month.
Dhumal was selected as the head of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association last month. In the past, he has been a spokesman of HPCA in various BCCI meetings.
A similar practice can also be seen in the state-run cricket boards in the recent past.
For instance, Rupa Gurunath, daughter of former BCCI chief N Srinivasan, on September 26 was elected unopposed as president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), making her the first woman to head a state cricket board. Rupa is also the wife of Gurunath Meiyappan, who has been banned for life for his involvement in 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing scandal.
On September 21, Jaydev Shah, son of Niranjan Shah, a former BCCI official was appointed as the president of the Saurashtra Cricket Association. Jaydev in the past has 120 first-class matches and captained Saurashtra for a record 110 times.
Post his appointment he cited his cricket record to justify his selection in the board. He said, “What’s there in a surname? What can I do if I’m born in this family? In a democracy, anyone can contest elections.”
Former Indian captain – Sourav Ganguly, is all set to become the president at BCCI. However, his uncle Debashis Ganguly became the Treasurer for Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) last month.
If one follows the set of rules laid for the appointment of a member in the cricket administration, selecting someone from your family to become your successor is entirely legal. However, it also means that the old members who have been running the body will continue to do so despite being them called ‘ineligible’.