The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) on Monday (November 7) rejected the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee’s reform of ‘one state, one vote’ at its Special General Meeting (SGM) to discuss the recommendations.
“The MCA will now write to the BCCI on this issue. We’ll express our concern over this reform to the Board, and ask them to take this up with the Lodha committee,” a top MCA official told TOI on Monday, while revealing that the debate didn’t go beyond this issue. The SGM was eventually adjourned.
Explaining the MCA ‘s problem with this reform, he said: “Mumbai has won the Ranji Trophy a record 41 times, and has produced about 75 Test players. You can’t ask a prestigious institution like the MCA to vote in the BCCI once in nine years. We can’t just be relegated to the status of an associate member.”
“Since the BCCI has asked all the state associations to wait till November 10, the day they will get directions from the SC, the meeting was eventually adjourned. We will hold an SGM again after receiving instructions from the BCCI on the issue,” he informed. The meeting was chaired by MCA president Sharad Pawar, who would have to quit his post if the reforms are implemented fully, as he has crossed the eligible age to be an office-bearer at the state or BCCI level. Pawar is 75.
However, it is slowly emerging that all the 330 members of the MCA may not be on the same page on the issue. It is learnt that there was a difference in opinion on accepting the reforms in the discussion that took place before the meeting was adjourned. While NCP MLA Jitendra Ahwad criticised the ‘one state one vote’ reform, senior MCA members Shripad Halbe and Ravi Mandrekar felt that it was high time the association accepted the reforms in toto.
“Much to Pawar’s embarrassment, Halbe ridiculed the MCA for filing an affidavit against the reforms, saying that this must be the first time that a decision given by Supreme Court has been challenged in the High Court. ‘Either the MCA doesn’t know that the decision of the apex court has to be respected, or it has been misguided,’ Halbe said,” revealed a source who attended the meeting.
“Halbe reminded everyone that it was none other than Ajay Shirke (BCCI secretary and Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president who (allegedly) had recommended the ‘one state one vote’ reform. He felt that since Vidarbha and Maharashtra had accepted this recommendation, it would be difficult for the MCA to convince the Supreme Court that it can’t follow suit. According to him, the fact that the VCA has accepted all the reforms in toto has also weakened MCA ‘s case,” the source said.
Interestingly, on July 24, Pawar had told the media that the MCA, pending a few clarifications from the BCCI, had accepted the Lodha report with an `open heart’. However, the association seems to have had a `change of heart’ since.