HYDERABAD: Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohammad Azharuddin seems to be on a sticky wicket with the way he handled the 85th Annual General body Meeting (AGM) on Sunday.
“The AGM cannot be abruptly closed when several points are still to be discussed. Whatever be the reasons for the president, he shouldn’t have done it. An AGM can be ended only after all the points in the Agenda are taken up,” former HCA secretary PR Mansingh, who is an authority on the cricket body’s byelaws, told TOI on Monday.
Defending his action, Azhar said the members were stuck on the issue of the ombudsman and were creating nuisance. “How can the meeting continue in such an atmosphere? The remaining points of the Agenda will be taken up in a later meeting,” he said.
Azhar also seems to be on a weak wicket as the byelaws clearly state that the AGM is the supreme body which makes the various appointments. “The Apex Council, at best, can only make a recommendation but the final authority rests with the general body. It is up to the members to decide on the appointments. They can either go with the recommendation or choose any other person,” Mansingh said and added that things are going from bad to worse in the HCA.
“Why is Azharuddin so caught up with the appointment of Justice (retd) Deepak Verma? If the members wanted a voting on the issue, he should have allowed it. He should either convince the members or accept the verdict of the general body. Whatever is happening is not good for the association,” said a former office-bearer, who didn’t want to be named.
The happenings at the AGM have shown that Azhar doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the house and will also be completely isolated in the Apex Council. He will be up against the other five elected members and it means that he will be hard-pressed to ‘carry on with his reforms’. Is he destined to be lame-duck president for the rest of his term?
The appointments made by the rival group too are not without flaws. “How can Shivlal (Yadav) be the HCA’s representative to the BCCI when he has served for more than nine years in the HCA and BCCI? Similarly, Arshad (Ayub) too is disqualified from being on any committee of the HCA by virtue of having served in the association for more than nine years,” said former EC member RM Bhaskar.
With both groups sticking to their guns, it looks like the only recourse will be to approach the court. “The matter will end up in the court as there doesn’t seem to be any other way out. The association cannot have two Ombudsmen. The BCCI can only stop the funds but beyond it, it cannot do much. But the problem with going to court is that one cannot be sure when the verdict will come and by that time the term of this present body could finish,” said Mansingh.
“I believe the judiciary’s lackadaisical attitude has made things worse in the HCA. The court appointed administrators had, in their first report to the court, asked for a CBI inquiry into the financial mismanagement but nothing was done. Similarly, it’s nearly 11 years since the ACB made out a case against some of the members but still there is no forward movement. In fact, three of those members are dead,” Mansingh added.
Mansingh did agree that a case could be made out against secretary R Vijayanand as the Telangana high court had passed severe strictures against him. It is learnt that the Azhar group is going to move the court on the matter.
“I will take action against the secretary and others only after getting a legal opinion on the matter. These are serious allegations and cannot be just brushed aside,” Azharuddin had remarked on Sunday.
I never asked for any post: Shesh
It is also learnt that a few members who have been named in the various committees are not keen on taking up those assignments. “I had never asked for any post nor given my consent for the same. I wrote to the secretary about it. He apologized for the faux pas and said they will remove my name from the list,” said former secretary T Shesh Narayan.
Justice Verma accepts Ombudsman’s post
In a related development, Justice Verma wrote to HCA on Monday saying he was accepting the position but wouldn’t be able to travel to Hyderabad in the near future because of his doctor’s advice. “Should there be any urgent issue, which requires to be sorted out immediately, then that can be dealt with in virtual hearing,” he wrote.