India Sports
Frantic activity in BCCI ahead of crucial meeting
Apr 5, 2007 - 5:59:51 PM

Mumbai, April 5 - The receptionist told the electrician to change the fused bulbs. The power point presentation system was re-checked in both boardrooms. The entire Indian cricket board staff was on its toes Thursday, on the eve of the key meetings following India's World Cup debacle.

That was the scene in the new, plush Board of Control for Cricket in India - headquarters housed in the all-glass Mumbai Cricket Association - building at the Wankhede Stadium.

Move a few paces, and you see a complete contrast to the hustle and bustle of the centrally air-conditioned BCCI headquarters - a confirmation that cricket, per se, has taken a backseat following India's first-round exit from the World Cup in the West Indies.

A virtually empty stadium hosted some of the rising stars from Mumbai, Saurashtra, Vadodara and Gujarat play matches in their west zone Twenty20 tournament. Only after the occasional applause did you realise that a few spectators were also present.

After India's World Cup debacle few loyal fans are left. And there were hardly any takers for the two Twenty20 matches played.

Among those who watched the game was Dilip Vengsarkar, chairman of the national selection committee, who must be a disappointed man now.

As the top BCCI officials started arriving in Mumbai for the meetings, boardroom decisions took precedence over cricket. It is in this context that the three meetings Friday and Saturday assume utmost importance. Decisions taken could give a new direction to the game.

Or, as some board officials feel, not give any direction at all.

'I tell you, nothing is going to come out of these meetings,' a veteran official, who has attended numerous meetings in his over 20 years of association with the board, told IANS.

'Committees will be formed to further look into the issues and suggest measures. It will be followed with some more meetings and, eventually, the real issue will die down,' he predicted.

On Friday morning, the BCCI office-bearers - or the top nine officials - will meet coach Greg Chappell, captain Rahul Dravid, Vengsarkar, and the World Cup team manager Sanjay Jagdale.

At this meeting Chappell, who resigned Wednesday after his contract ended with the World Cup, and Jagdale will present their World Cup reports to board president Sharad Pawar.

After lunch, the nine BCCI officials - Pawar, five vice-presidents, secretary Niranjan Shah, joint secretary M.P. Pandove and treasurer N. Srinivasan - will meet among themselves.

On Saturday morning, the BCCI working committee will meet. At this conclave, the office bearers - read Pawar - will apprise the panel members of the discussions held with Chappell, Dravid, Jagdale, Vengsarkar and others.

These will perhaps be the most important board meetings in many years. So, little wonder that the BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty, its newly-recruited board office manager, the receptionist and others were seen moving frantically to get everything in order inside the plush board office.

'I am very busy today,' said the amiable Shetty as he went briskly from one room to another. In the context of the weekend meetings, he can't be faulted.

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