Ranjib Biswal loses out as Sanjay Jagdale set to become BCCI secretary at AGM today
Since taking up the captaincy of the India under-19 in 1989-90, Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) president Ranjib Biswal's graph never took a nosedive. He graduated to become a national selector and thereafter also made his way into the Indian Premier League's Governing Council. But yesterday, was the first time when this cricketer-turned-administrator had to bite the dust, when Sanjay Jagdale was nominated as the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) secretary (uncontested), astonishing all.
Losing the race: Ranjib Biswal, who was tipped to succeed N Srinivasan
as BCCI secretary, was told otherwise yesterday morning. File pic
The current joint secretary Jagdale, who has been a selector in the past, is seen as someone who is not very vocal, and that has apparently worked to his advantage. "N Srinivasan (president-elect) will be happy to have Jagdale in this team, rather than someone who would muscle his way into the dispensation," a top BCCI official said. Jagdale though needs an approval from his state association, Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA), as he is not on their office-bearers' list currently.
Jagdale, also known to be an able administrator, though was benefited by East Zone's infighting. When the stage was set for Biswal to take over from N Srinivasan -- who will be succeeding incumbent Shashank Manohar for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) presidency today -- it ran into rough weather after Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) supremo Amitabh Chowdhury put his foot down and vowed to contest for the secretary's post, if Biswal is nominated.
Chowdhury, who toured the West Indies in May-June with the Indian team, as manager, suddenly staked his claim for the coveted secretary's post. That put the BCCI bosses in a spot and had apparently forced them to think otherwise, ticking off both Biswal and Chowdhury's names. "It was late in the night, when the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, backed by Assam Cricket Association, went up to the president-elect and pledged support for Biswal, Srinivasan was okay with that.
But suddenly Chowdhury made a claim. By doing this, he has spoilt the entire East Zone's chance in order to prevent me from taking over," a close confidant of Biswal revealed to MiD DAY. "He is very hurt by this development. How can someone land up at 11.30 in the night and stake a claim for the secretary's post when Biswal was sounded out almost a year ago and was groomed for that?" the person close to Biswal, asked.
As things stand, BCCI mandarins will try and get down to damage control measures to compensate the OCA president by bringing him into the management of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), which has earned flak from all corners, of late. Biswal, in all probability, will refuse such role. "Now, why would he settle for anything less? There is no question of accepting any other post. Instead, he will wait for his chance to become the secretary in the future," the confidant stated.
Biswal, it is learnt, has even decided to stay away from the 82nd Annual General Meeting of the BCCI today, which would now be a one-day affair. From the BCCI's viewpoint, they couldn't have given in to Chowdhury's demand and neither could they live with his discontent. "We were not in favour of having an election, and thus had to find someone who fits the bill, and Jagdale was the ideal candidate at that juncture," a BCCI official told MiD DAY. However, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) president Anurag Thakur will don the mantle of joint-secretary. His name was proposed by CAB chief Dalmiya.
* Secretary: Sanjay Jagdale
* Jt Secretary: Anurag Thakur
* Treasurer: Ajay Shirke
* Vice-Presidents: Arun Jaitley (North Zone), Shivlal Yadav (South Zone), Chitrak Mitra (East Zone), Niranjan Shah (West Zone), Sudhir Dabir (West Zone).