The mess that is Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is finally on the road to reformation.
The single-member committee appointed by the Supreme Court has disqualified the executive committee members of 57 clubs from voting or contesting elections to the next executive committee for three years, whichever is greater.
This is the crusade which the former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin had launched, as HCA president, to clean the stables of the cricket body as it was alleged that bogus votes were being acquired through bogus clubs. This was being done with impunity for decades through the trickery of buying-selling and changing the names of the clubs to avoid detection.
Azhar’s mission made the entrenched coterie in HCA hostile to him. The apex council —the vice-president, the secretary, joint-secretary, treasurer and the councillor—were all declared illegible to vote or contest by the court’s order. Consequently, the matter reached the High Court and later on in Supreme Court which appointed a single-member committee.
The ills of HCA are troubling: It doesn’t have a master register and the one which existed before the year 2000 was termed “fraud” by the courts. Without record of its members and their antecedents, the cricket body was hurting the careers of cricketers and running of the game in the state of Telangana. Members without any cricketing backgrounds, allegations of corruption, kick-backs in operational expenses, the questionable accounts towards construction of a stadium, alleged paybacks in selections had swirled in the air for some time now.
It’s cruelly funny that a body which runs cricket in Telangana, has 206 votes controlled by private clubs in Hyderabad and just 10 votes for 10 districts within the state. At an all-India level, the practice ordered by the Lodha Committee implies one-state, one-vote policy. Yet in HCA, it’s clubs from Hyderabad which dominate the set-up.
The recent step by the one-member committee, appointed by the Supreme Court, has kindled hopes for a course-correction in the affairs of HCA. How much is done and how soon though remains in the realm of speculation. The earlier the better though for at stake is the future of young cricketers.