MPCA cricket committee’s U-turn on Pandit’s appointment shocks state body (Lead)

Confusion with regards to implementation of Lodha Committee reforms have surfaced in recent times not just in the BCCI, but also in state associations. Ugly power struggles seem to have become the norm as a lot of state associations are battling some dispute or the other within itself. The latest is the ongoing dispute in the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) between the cricket committee and the office bearers.

The cricket committee has done a sudden U-turn and raised questions on the validity of the appointment of Chandrakant Pandit as head coach. Pandit is one of the most celebrated coaches on the domestic circuit and a former chairman of the junior selection committee of the BCCI. In fact, prior to this he was the coach of the Vidarbha team which won the Ranji Trophy and had offers from three teams to take up the role of head coach.

Speaking to IANS, a source close to the development said that until recently everything was going smoothly but it seems that someone has misled the cricket committee.

“Everything was going quite smoothly till recently with a lot of healthy discussions with the cricket committee on the head coach, performances etc. It was quite shocking when they suddenly tried to pull the plug on all of this. Clearly they seem to be misled by someone but that is hardly a justification,” the source said.

The cricket committee is of the view that even administrative decisions pertaining to cricket fall within their purview while the office bearers are of the view that if that was the case, the administration would have no work to do. Legal luminaries who have been involved in the matter in the Supreme Court are of the view that the cricket committee is clearly overreaching their jurisdiction.

The cricket committee of the MPCA was elected by their General Body and as per documents available with IANS, they were not only consulted on the selection of the Head Coach of MPCA but were even involved with the planning and organisation of a joint camp of the senior, u23 and u19 age groups that was proposed by none other than Pandit.

This stand of the cricket committee after having earlier suggested the name of Pandit among others and initially working on the suggestions of Pandit has shocked the members and they are now seen to be unprofessional, extremely unreliable and cantankerous.

“We have seen the documents and communications and it is shocking to see their approach and their change of stance. They are coming across as unprofessional, extremely unreliable and cantankerous. This is not how an organisation is supposed to function. They will have to answer to the General Body for this,” a senior member told IANS.

When contacted about this ugly spat, a BCCI official said: “Someone raising a question on appointment of Pandit as head coach is actually doing disservice to ‘he game. Pandit’s laurels speak for himself, any organisation should be proud of having him in their squad. It seems that their cricket committee is ill-advised because they seem keen to discredit a great decision for which they would be ones get”ing the credit.”

It seems that amidst this conflict, it is the game of cricket that is the loser. MPCA has signed a contract with Pandit for two years and that has put the association in a safe place and it could do without any controversies in the matter.