BCCI's AGM held with new-office bearers

NEW DELHI: The annual general meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was formally held today with new-office bearers taking charge, but outgoing president Jagmohan Dalmiya's remote controlling bid hit a snag with a Chennai City civil court restraining him from representing the BCCI at the international fora.

The BCCI also did not disclose any development on awarding the India-Pakistan cricket series rights to a broadcaster. Those in the fray are led by pubcaster Doordarshan and include others like ESPN Star Sports and a hopeful Zee Telefilms, which is embroiled in a bitter legal battle over the rights issue with the cricket board and ESS.

At BCCI today, a new set of office bearers, headed by Ranbir Singh Mahendra,took charge formally, though the new president was absent from today's meeting owing to political commitments in his home state of Haryana where elections are scheduled to be held, Press Trust of India and United News of India reported from Kolkata, headquarters of BCCI.

The annual general meeting, which was reconvened this morning following a Supreme Court directive, concluded in no time, with outgoing president Jagmohan Dalmiya saying the two pending items on the agenda could not be transacted in view of a restraint order by the court on 28 September. No other details were forwarded.

Since all other items on the agenda had already been transacted in the meeting on 29 and 30 September, the 75th AGM of the BCCI was therefore terminated and the newly elected office-bearers took over with immediate effect, he said.

The controversy ridden AGM had been adjourned without transacting two of the items on the agenda relating to the appointment of Dalmiya as the Patron-in-Chief and BCCI's representative at the ICC and other international bodies, the news agencies said.

Today's meeting, held as per Supreme Court's order on 10 January, thus cleared the deck for Mahendra and the other office-bearers, elected in a bitter contest against the group led by Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar on 29 September, to discharge their duties formally.

Counsel of the Chennai club, Ankur Chawla, told reporters here today that according to an interim order passed by the City Civil Court on 25 January, ''Dalmiya cannot get himself elected as the representative of BCCI in any international cricket be it ICC or ACC.

We are saying that what cannot be done directly, cannot be done indirectly too. As he was restrained from being the patron-in-chief, he was trying to get a resolution passed

seeing him through as the representative of the BCCI in the ICC and the ACC.

But that cannot happen. The court has kindly consented to that idea.'' A similar order had been passed by the same court earlier restraining Dalmiya from becoming the Patron-in-Chief of the BCCI." The next date of hearing for the case is 31 January.

Earlier, on 10 January, the Supreme Court had ordered the BCCI to complete the AGM as soon as possible. Accordingly, the AGM was to take up the pending issues including Sec 1B pertaining to the Patron-in-Chief and Section 13 regarding the representation of BCCI in ICC/ACC.

According to news reports, former BCCI president, Raj Singh Dungarpur, who had been a vocal opponent of Mahendra during the elections for the Board president's post in September, today openly suggested Mahendra's name as

BCCI representative at ICC meetings.

Dungarpur was quoted by news agencies as saying that "all through its 75-year history, the BCCI has been represented by its presidents at the ICC.

It has been a convention. And I strongly feel that this convention should be followed this time also".

Dungarpur, a staunch critic of Dalmiya, had pitched his lot with Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar, who unsuccessfully contested against Jagmohan Dalmiya's nominee Mahendra for the top BCCI post. Dungarpur, said the outgoing BCCI president should no longer harbour ambitions to represent the Board at the ICC (International Cricket Conference).

Expressing his dismay at the way the BCCI has gone down in the public eye due to the recent squabbling, Dungarpur was quoted as saying, "Things need to be resolved fast. The situation would have not come to such a pass had the powers-that-be tried to resolve the knotty issues."

Meanwhile, a two-member Pakistan security team today met with the newly elected office bearers of the Indian cricket board and would now be heading for Ahmedabad tomorrow.

Zakir Khan, General Manager (Operations) of Pakistan Cricket Board and Sohail Khan, SSP, Lahore met the BCCI officials after the conclusion of the AGM here.

Pakistan is to arrive on 25 February to play three Tests and five one-day internationals against India. The BCCI has shortlisted the venues but the dates of the matches are yet to be finalised, news agencies said.

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