The former Kashmir based first-class cricketers have lashed out at J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for his ‘autocratic and despotic’ working.
The cricketers who included Abdul Qayoom Bagaw, Syed Parvaiz Qaiser, Zahoor Bhat, Arshad Bhat, Majid Dar, Huwaid Ronga addressed a press conference at Kashmir Press Club on Thursday July 11 in which they raised several issues. On the occasion they issued a memorandum that had long list of issues highlighted.
First of all, let us make it very clear that we have assembled as first class cricketers and cricketer lovers and nothing else. We are here in light of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s observation- “Cricket to Cricketers’ as opposite of that is happening in JKCA.
Having said that, it may be understood that this is a step after all other ways and means to address the grim situation have failed and the present dispensation of JKCA has not manded its way of autocratic/ despotic working.
It may also be added for kind information of Respected Members of Media gathered here, that, all those you see on this dais and here, are first class cricketers, have enough qualifications to hold any post under the Lodha Panel recommendations and most of us did for one year. We put all our efforts to help CEO in affairs of JKCA for about one year before it become apparent that CEO was in no mood to hand over the reins of JKCA to the elected members or Cricketers of the state. Instead, CEO had and has plans of establishing himself as the President of JKCA through proxy elections after changing the basic Constitution of JKCA in dubious and clandestine ways.
Let us address some important issues one by one:
1. In the garb of implementation of Lodha Panel Recommendations, CEO JKCA has become totally despotic in working. He has over-stepped his mandate of the Hon’ble J&K High Court. If we read the order, we will understand what was CEO supposed to do and in what time frame.
2. Reading this Hon’ble J&K High Court’s Order along with the observations of Hon’ble Supreme Court and recommendations of Lodha Panel, we clearly see total deviation from the original. CEO was supposed to facilitate smooth Elections as per Lodha Panel Recommendation with in a period of two months. It has been nearly 20 months now. In the name of elections, CEO has changed the basic fabric of JKCA which has been under-scored by Hon’ble Supreme Court as ‘NOT TO BE CAHANGED’.
3. CEO had to facilitate work of Ombudsman to addressing the various disputes amongst member / affiliated clubs. What CEO has done; he has dissolved these affiliated Clubs memberships. Again, which goes against the basic spirit of the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Directions.
It is also true that we have been wanting JKCA to increase the number of affiliated clubs as it had not been changed since inception. This had to be done as per Constitution of JKCA not on any arbitrary whip of a stop-gap CEO.
4. Things came to a head when, senior cricketers were denied entry in the SK Cricket Stadium recently. Is this what the Hon’ble Supreme Court had in mind when it observed- ‘Cricket to Cricketers’?
5. As per recommendations of Lodha Panel, all the Cricketing decisions had to be essentially taken by a CAC- ‘Cricket Advisory Committee’ comprising of former cricketers with certain qualification. This was proposed to ensure-
a. Transparency in working of Associations;
b. Participation of former cricketers in affairs of Association;
c. Safe-guard the interests of playing members of Associations;
d. Judicious use of BCCI funds and resources; and
e. Long term planning for the betterment of the game.
There is no CAC in JKCA and all decisions are taken by one person alone-CEO.
All the members of CAC have resigned last year in protest against the working of
CEO. One remaining member too has resigned recently citing ‘personal reasons.’ But we all know what are these personal reasons.
6. JKCA CEO unilaterally air-dropped Irfan Pathan as Player cum Mentor last year at a huge un-affordable cost to JKCA. Not to mention that his performance left a lot to be desired. Instead, he was instrumental in all the Senior selectors resigning in protest due to his interference. The matter was discussed with CEO too but he expressed his in-ability to act and allowed the selectors to resign.
7. After, this CEO solely imported selectors from outside the state pool of former qualified cricketers. Even Chairman was imported. The criteria for this selection was never made public or shared with any former CAC member.
True, two local members were inducted but with a ratio of 4: 2 (counting Irfan Pathan as part of selection process), how effective they would have been!
8. A Coach also tagged along with Irfan Pathan. This Coach, was again selected with out any set criteria or procedure. It may be added that J&K has a sizable pool of former cricketers trained and qualified as coaches. They were overlooked.
9. This year, Mr. Irfan Pathan has ‘decided’ not to play so he has been made-Coach-cum-Mentor cum what-not. The previous Coach too has been retained.
10. Once again, outsiders have been made Selectors of Ranji teams with outsider as Chairman. These outsiders have no first hand knowledge of players or cricket in J&K. Why and how were these selected, is any body’s guess.
11. While, we may not necessarily be against any former cricketer of repute and intellect being inducted to improve the level of game in J&K, we are certainly against this being done in a cloak-and-dagger manner circumventing all procedures and rules. We would like the CEO to come out with the criteria of selection of:
a. Mr. Irfan Pathan as Player-cum-Mentor last year and his professional fee;
b. Mr. Irfan Pathan as Coach-cum-Mentor this year and his professional fee;
c. Coach and his professional fee;
d. Chairman Selection Committee and selectors from outside and their professional fee;
e. Other Officials and staff accompanying the teams and their professional fee; and
f. Present status of the directions of Hon’ble J&KJ High Court on-
i. progress in resolving disputes among affiliated clubs;
ii. preparation for holding of elections as per recommendations of Lodha Panel and Hon’ble Supreme Court; and
iii. status of the funds being utilized by CEO/ JKCA and other connected officials.
12. Since, there are no committees or sub-committees in JKCA at present, at least not that we know-of or those which were published:
a. the whole working of JKCA becomes doubtful and suspect;
b. we also apprehend a mis-management of BCCI allocated funds;
c. long term damage to the game at the grass root level with no development;
d. dis-respect for the former cricketers, local coaches and other experts;
e. victimization of players on insistence of Mentor/ Coach/ Selectors/CEO;
f. despotic working of CEO in collaboration with air-dropped Mentor Cum Coach and selectors;
g. loss of future opportunities to former cricketers to serve the game through BCCI in various capacities as Match Referees, Observers, Anti-Corruption Officers, Coaches, trainers, Physios, commentators, etc.;
h. forwarding of membership forms of former First-class cricketers to the National Player Association as per Hon’ble Supreme Court’s Orders; and
i. non-payment of pending professional fee for duties rendered.
To conclude, we would request respected members of media/ press
a. To highlight the issues mentioned above after verifying the facts and Court orders. Copies of these are attached here with;
b. To support transparency in JKCA working;
c. To report the anguish and distress in cricketing circles of the state on the despotic working of CEO JKCA;
d. To high light the dis-respect of the Hon’ble Court orders and directions;
e. To project our above-mentioned points for betterment of the game and players;
f. To ensure that the funds allocated by BCCI are judiciously utilized for the betterment of the game;
We are all very grateful to the respected members of the media/ press for allowing this inter-action and allowing us to share out apprehensions about JKCA, CEO and future of Cricket in J&K Sate.
(The Memorandum Was Distributed by These Cricketers To The Media Personals During Press/Media Interaction and has been reproduced as it is here).