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Saurashtra making a mockery of Supreme Court order - Ghavri

Niranjan Shah arrives at an IPL match Getty Images

Former India player Karsan Ghavri has written to the Committee of Administrators [CoA] to block what can be seen as Niranjan Shah's attempt to keep controlling Saurashtra Cricket Association [SCA]. Shah stands disqualified as an office bearer both on account of his age, 73, and his tenure of over four decades. He has given up his position as the SCA secretary, but in a May 27 meeting the SCA offered him a position as CEO, which he says he has not yet accepted.

Shah hasn't ruled out accepting the offer, though. "If you see the FAQs in the Lodha Committee recommendations, they don't bar anybody from being employed at the association," he told ESPNcricinfo. "I haven't yet decided on the offer, but it is not something I rule out. If the association needs my guidance, I will consider it."

Ghavri sees this as a "brazen violation of the Supreme Court order". In his letter to the CoA, which ESPNcricinfo has seen, Ghavri wrote: "This is not just a case of SCA finding a loophole in the new change order but it is an act that makes a mockery of the Supreme Court order."

Shah stands barred from attending any BCCI meetings even as a representative of the SCA. The Supreme Court made that clear on July 24 after the CoA had pointed out the disqualified office bearers' resistance to implementing the Lodha Committee's reforms.

The other issue that Ghavri has sought to bring to the CoA's notice is the recognition of a players' association. In the May 27 meeting, the SCA ratified the union led by Mahendra Rajdev, who is a long-time member of the board's governing body and a selector. Rajdev played 42 first-class matches.

SCA maintains it is the prerogative of the association to recognise a players' body, but Ghavri sees a conflict in a governing body member chairing the players' body too. "If the SC order had intended to give the players a voice in administration, this SCA move has promptly managed to stifle it," he wrote to the CoA.

Ghavri has been a part of a players' body registered with the Charity Commissioner but not recognised by the SCA. Other veterans, too, have been a part of this union.

"I plead to the CoA to put in place a robust and fair process by which independent and proactive players' bodies be formed around the country," Ghavri wrote. "If it is left to the state unit to recognise the players' body of their choice, the SC order's purpose of giving cricketers a say in administration will be defeated."

Giving players a say in the administration was one of the key recommendations of the Lodha Committee. Accordingly it called for setting up an "independent" players' association at the national level and replicate the structure at state level. The players' association will have representation in governing bodies and the apex council.

The players' body that Ghavri belongs to is concerned by the SCA calling for an Annual General Meeting on September 2, where one of the agendas is to elect members of the governing body. The CoA's response to Ghavri is not yet known, but in the past the CoA has looked to the court for instructions in such cases. It is usually done in the status reports filed just before a hearing.

The next Supreme Court hearing is on September 19.