An important meeting of the General Body of the Karnataka State Cricket Association is scheduled to be held today in which certain changes to the rules regarding election of office bearers and President has evoked a debate. In the forefront of the debate are Mr Brijesh Patel, the current President of the body and a well known Ex-Cricketer and Mr Srikanta Datta Narasimha Raja Wodeyar, a prominent Ex-MP also the “Prince” of Mysore.

The center of the controversy is a change in the election rule sought by Brijesh Patel and his group according to which,

1. A person can seek election as President only if he is a life member and has served one year as an office bearer, and

2. Posts of  Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary can be contested by only those office bearers who have completed one year. 

3. All office-bearers including president, vice-president and treasurer are eligible for only two terms, while the secretary will be eligible for four terms.

It is stated that these amendments are to be effective from 2010.

On the face of it, the amendments do not seem to be unreasonable since it avoids the perpetuation of office bearers and also ensures that some experience in the management committee is essential for the highest post.

In another service organization where I had served, I introduced similar changes while I was a President stipulating that the President shall not seek re-election and that appointment of the President would only be through a promotion of the Vice President. This ensured that the elections would be held only for the posts upto the Vice President and the highest position in the organization was not polluted with the electoral politics. The person who gets elected as Vice President of course through the electoral politics, had one year of cooling period where he could win friends around him even from the camp which had opposed his election. Another rule introduced was that the President will serve in the management committee immediately after his term as an Immediate Past President so that he can provide the continuity to the next president. Though the move was opposed by many, in the long run it may be acceptable to all. I therefore welcome the initiatives of Mr Brijesh Patel.

It is unfortunate that Mr Wodeyar has been wrongly advised about the changes leading to his getting a feeling that he would be uneligible to contest for the post of the President in the ensuing election and the changes are engineered only to prevent his election. With a clarification from Mr Patel that the change in the rules will be effective only after the next election, I think Mr Wodeyar should bury the differences and let the changes be passed unanimously.

It must also be stated that persons who intend holding such offices must refrain from personal comments about each other in public. In this context, Mr Patel’s comments about the Cricketing skills of Wodeyar is out of place and has to be condemned. Public respect Mr Patel as an excellent cricketer and I am sure that Mr Wodeyar during his College days must be a fan of Brijesh Patel, the cricketer. This does not however make Mr Brijesh necessarily a better administrator than Mr Wodeyar though we donot know his cricket management skills as yet. But If Brijesh could be a staunch supporter of Dalmiya who had no cricketing background, then he has no right to object to Mr Wodeyar’s desire to seek election as President of KSCA. May be a change of guard could bring benefits if Mr Wodeyar can keep politics out of cricket.

I had a brief association with Mr Wodeyar during his playing days and I know that he has a passion for the game. I hope this passion should make him a good administrator if he applies himself to the task on hand which is improving cricket in Karnataka. If performance of  Karnataka Ranji team in the last few years is taken into consideration, it is clear that Karnataka Cricket has taken a back seat in the national scene. A few years back we had nearly 7 players in the Indian eleven from Karnataka and today we are struggling to get through the second player. Obviously, the immediate cricket managers must take the responsibility for the same and give way to a new set of office bearers.

Let us therefore welcome a change of guard in KSCA and wish that Karnataka cricket sees an upswing.

Vijayashankar

(Naavi)

http://www.naavi.org

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