Hyderabad: The stringent remark by the Chief Justice of Supreme Court NV Ramana on the sordid affairs of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) was on the cards. The three-member bench of Justice Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Hima Kohli came down heavily on the warring factions for their continued infighting and taking the game to a new low. With the final verdict to be given on October 27, there looks to be some light at the end of the tunnel.
Hyderabad cricket has suffered with allegations of corruption in administration and also in the selection matter. For some time, with no end to the crisis, the future of the game looked bleak. But Thursday’s scathing remarks by Justice Ramana brought relief and smiles to the genuine lovers of the game. HCA faced crisis after crisis particularly in the last two years with President Mohammed Azharuddin at loggerheads with the rest of the Apex Council members headed by secretary R Vijayanand.
Justice Ramana blamed both the groups and said he will order for a CBI inquiry. He also clearly said let both the groups go out of the management. The chief justice did not spare Justice Deepak Verma, who was appointed the Ombudsman by President Azharuddin and opposed by the Apex Council members. “Please tell Justice Verma not to pass any orders. His term has come to an end…..’’
This is a serious indictment to all those involved in the running of the administration now. Former secretary PR Man Singh said it was a damaging report. “It is sad and shameful for Hyderabad cricket. It is time to set things in order and the best way is the BCCI to take over the administration of the association. But this time the professionals, appointed by the BCCI like cricket managers or administrators, should run the show. In fact, none of the club secretaries should be anywhere near administration.
“There should be no elections for a certain period of time because if you have elections, you will have the same set of voters. There will be no end to this crisis. The cricket manager should take care of the appointment of coaches and selectors etc.’’
Man Singh further added that the infighting had destroyed Hyderabad cricket. “This SC indictment was icing on the cake. The SC rightly said for a CBI inquiry. In fact, old administrators in their first report had reported to the High Court that they wanted a CBI inquiry. But the High Court kept quiet on it and now the Supreme Court has asked for it. I still feel sad that the ACB is still sitting over the report on corruption charges on many administrators like Shivlal Yadav, Arshad Ayub and others.’’
Azharuddin simply said that the Supreme Court has already seized the matter and the next hearing is on October 27. “The matter is under sub judice. But as per the Court order the period between in the period between 2020 and 2021, no adverse orders were passed against me.’’
Vice-president John Manoj pointed out in the larger and best interests of Hyderabad cricket the outcome of the Supreme Court was a fair one. “Cricket should not be run by staff and there should be a proper system in place. Let the Cricket Advisory Committee, as per the Lodha Committee Reforms, look after the game. One has to follow the protocol and that is what the Supreme Court has told.’’
Former secretary S Venkateshwaran heaved a sigh of relief. “I’m happy something good is happening for HCA. The infighting, particularly in the last two years, has ruined HCA. The merit had taken a back seat as far as selection of players was concerned. We all should be ashamed. It is a tight slap on the face of all of us but hopefully good days are ahead.’’
Now all eyes on which group’s selection panel will select the team for the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, which is starting from November 4.
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