Mumbai: Bowing to a recent Supreme Court order, Mumbai Cricket Association President Sharad Pawar on Sunday announced his decision to quit the post within six months.
The 75-year-old Pawar — ranked amongst the finest cricket administrators in the world and having earlier headed BCCI and the ICC — said he honoured the apex court verdict putting an upper age limit of 70 for cricket administrators.
“I respect the judiciary and shall happily retire from cricket administration. During my tenure in BCCI and MCA, many things were accomplished in support of cricket. I shall retire as a happy person,” Pawar told media persons here after an MCA meeting.
However, he said the MCA would need around six months to implement the SC orders, and set in motion the process to revise its constitution in tune with the judgement
“We discussed the recommendations of the former Chief Justice R.M. Lodha Committee, the Supreme Court verdict and unanimously approved all the recommendations,” Pawar added.
By implication, Pawar — who has crossed the age-bar limit and the term cap of nine years cumulatively for office-bearers — would no longer be involved in any kind of cricket administration in the country as per the court ruling.
Now, the MCA will redraft the constitution, get it approved by the Managing Committee, then summon a Special General Meeting to get the amended constitution approved in the next six months, he added.
While accepting the one state-one vote decision, the veteran politician pointed out that Maharashtra has three associations — Maharasthra, Mumbai and Vidarbha Cricket Associations. So, as per the apex court order, they would take turns to be represented in the BCCI for which they would seek a clarification.
“When MCA is represented in BCCI, our jurisdiction would extend all over the state and not be restricted to Mumbai-Thane. We will then have to include players from the rest of the state in our teams for Ranji Trophy and other tournaments,” he pointed out.
Similarly, when Maharashtra Cricket Association is represented, they can include Mumbai players, on which the BCCI can seek a clarification from the Lodha Committee, Pawar said.
Accepting that he was rendered ineligible to continue in cricket administration, he jocularly said he welcomed the decision of the Arbitration Panel in SC which had some members who had crossed 70 years of age.
“I am happy their vast experience and knowledge is available to the apex court,” he said amidst laughter, adding that many members of the MCA, barring some like Joint Secretary Unmesh Khanvilkar, would be affected by the ruling.
To a question, Pawar said Mumbai has enough talented and efficient persons to take over the mantle from those who would be quitting their posts.
Recounting the highlights of his long stint as a cricket administrator, he said that during his tenure as BCCI President, the pension scheme for players and umpires and medical schemes for players were implemented and the BCCI headquarter building, which also houses the MCA and IPL, was constructed.
Besides, several new stadia were constructed all over after the BCCI increased its subsidy to Rs 50 crore, and launched the IPL which benefits many cricketers.
In Mumbai, the BCCI built top-class facilities at the Bandra-Kurla Complex and at Kandivali Complex — complete with indoor nets for practice, Pawar said.
Last year a three-member committee headed by former CJI Lodha and comprising retired apex court Judges, Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice R. Raveendran, was formed after the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee recommended reforms in the BCCI.
The Justice Mudgal Committee enquired into the BCCI affairs after the 2013 expose of a betting and spot-match fixing scam in IPL, corruption allegations and related issues which rocked the country’s cricketing fraternity.
The Lodha Committee recommended wide-ranging reforms intended to cleanse the working of the bodies governing the country’s most popular and lucrative game.