Former board chairman on the attack April 25, 2008

Ghai hits out at CK over delayed elections

Cricinfo staff

Former KCA chairman Sharad Ghai has told The Nation that Cricket Kenya is in breach of an agreement with the ICC by not holding elections.

The annual elections should have been held in June 2007 but the repeated failure of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association to amend its own constitution and hold its own elections has led to the delay. The NPCA is Kenya's largest constituent body and yet it has failed to produce accounts or hold annual meetings for more than three years. CK has deemed it wrong to hold elections with the NPCA is such a mess and with its executive being so unrepresentative and has been attempting to get the situation resolved. It has , however, been faced with endless stalling tactics by the embattled executive.

Ghai told The Nation: "CK should not use the delay in the amendments of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association's constitution as an excuse for delaying the elections because they would not affect the number of delegates allocated to the province."

However, what this overlooks is that the number of NPCA delegates is not the issue. It is the manner in which those delegates are selected that is a problem. A number of those that sit on the NPCA executive are not accredited delegates of any club. Yet they can attend meetings, purport to stand again and again for a post within NPCA and also vote for themselves to get onto the CK executive.

Furthermore, in 2005, in his last weeks as chairman of the KCA, Ghai actually wrote to the NPCA reminding them that they had to call an AGM to amend the constitution and that was acknowledged by Salim Dhanji, the then NPCA chairman, who has since distanced himself from the current executive. That meeting has still to be held.

Ghai's comments will be read with incredulity by many stakeholders. He was a key member of the old Kenyan Cricket Association when it suspended the NPCA and replaced it with an unrepresentative body. For several years the KCA failed to hold elections and was almost utterly unaccountable. Ghai was forced from office after a year in which the players went on strike and Kenya's sports minister sought to have the KCA disbanded. Eventually, the KCA was forced to hold elections after pressure from the Africa Cricket Association and the ICC.

There has been concern that Ghai was attempting to get back into administration ever since he reappeared as a representative of Nairobi Gymkhana on the NPCA council last year. That The Nation, whose journalists gained a reputation of being sympathetic to Ghai while being critical of CK at any opportunity, are again giving him a platform will be seen as further evidence that a comeback is on the cards.

Cricinfo has flagged the problems within the NPCA on many occasions and the executive, which remains in office despite widespread criticism from its own members, has engineered continual delays in holding its annual meeting which can force through amendments necessary to enable CK to move ahead.

CK has shown immense patience as it has not wanted to interfere in what is in essence a local matter. But there are signs that patience is running out for the NPCA to gets its own house in order.