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Sharad Pawar to resign as MCA chief

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Sharad Pawar will step down as Mumbai Cricket Association chief following the Supreme Court ruling on officials who are over the age of 70 cannot continue in their role. This is one of the many reforms suggested by Lodha committee.

In a press conference on Sunday, the 76-year-old Pawar, who has been both International Cricket Council and Board of Control for Cricket in India chief, said he accepted the Supreme Court’s verdict. However, he added that the MCA will take six months to implement the Supreme Court’s orders, which effectively means he will not retire immediately.

“I will be the happiest (man) to retire. Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has approved all recommendations by the Supreme Court. But we need clarifications on one or two points, like in Maharashtra, we have three associations. We have objection on rotation policy,” Pawar said.

“We will first redraw the constitution; get the draft approved by the managing committee before calling a Special General Meeting to get the amended constitution passed. We have six months’ time.”

Pawar, who was earlier the ICC president, has also been a strongman when it comes to politics. He is the chief of Nationalist Congress Party. It is a regional party based in Maharashtra.  The term cap of nine years cumulatively set as an office-bearer, said that on only one issue – one state, one vote – the MCA needed to get clarification from the BCCI.

“We accept the one state, one vote decision. But we are three associations belonging to Maharashtra state – Mumbai CA, Maharashtra CA and Vidarbha CA. As per the judgement we have to take turns to be represented in the BCCI.

“When Mumbai gets a chance to be represented, our jurisdiction will extend all over Maharashtra and not confined only to Mumbai and its surrounding areas like Navi Mumbai and Thane as is the case now. We will then have to include players from the rest of Maharashtra in our teams (to be fielded in Ranji Trophy and other tournaments).”

Pawar served as the chairman of BCCI from 2005 to 2008 and as the president of ICC from 2010 to 2012.

Supreme Court’s verdict:

Pawar’s decision is based on Lodha committee recommendations to transform and cleanse the game from grassroot level.  The panel has stressed on accountability and transparency.

The Lodha committee had recommended the BCCI office-bearers should not exceed the age of 70, and also Board functionaries needed to step down from their positions in the respective state bodies. The BCCI has been given six months’ time to implement the recommendations.

Niranjan Shah and N Srinivasan are also over the age of 70. Shah and Srinivasan are heading Saurashtra and Tamil Nadu cricket association respectively.

It will be interesting to know what future course of action BCCI takes to implement the reforms suggested by Supreme Court backed Lodha committee.