Delhi and District Cricket Association chief Rajat Sharma resigned

NEW DELHI: The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) has run into a crisis in the middle of the cricket season. Its president Rajat Sharma resigned on Saturday, which was followed by resignations of cricket advisory committee (CAC) members, Yashpal Sharma and Sunil Valson, its CEO Ravikant Chopra, CFO PC Vaish and GM (cricket ops) Manvi Dhodhi.
Sharma decided to quit after struggling to gain the support from members of DDCA’s apex council in his endeavor to ‘clean up’ Delhi cricket.

Sharma claimed that DDCA members preferred to look after their own vested interests. According to Sharma, who was the first elected office-bearer in any association after the Lodha reforms last June, his resignation should ring a warning bell for the Indian cricket board (BCCI).

“This (resignation) should set the alarm bells ringing and all stakeholders, including the Supreme Court, cricketers, and BCCI, should know that such vested interests are still very much at play in the DDCA. It is for them to decide the future course of action,” Sharma said.

However, Sharma’s resignation will be accepted only if 2/3rd members of the apex council find that his reasons are valid.

“The resignation can’t be his personal discretion. It has to go through the apex council. The four government representatives believe he should continue,” Rajan Tiwari, a government nominee in the DDCA apex council, told TOI.

Sharma said it was difficult for him to play a ‘watchman’ for every little thing that happened in DDCA, knowing there was scope for corruption in every aspect of DDCA’s functioning.

“I am relieved because my role became more of a watchdog. I was required to keep a watch on a daily basis – to check if something wrong was happening or someone was involved in corruption. But I am concerned at the same time and want to see what the BCCI and Supreme Court do to control these people.”

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Interestingly, DDCA secretary Vinod Tihara, who was suspended for ‘acting against the interests of DDCA’, had moved a motion to revoke his suspension moments after Sharma announced his resignation. It is likely that Tihara would represent DDCA at the BCCI AGM on December 1.

The executives and the CAC felt that it would have been ‘difficult to operate’ in a transparent manner without Sharma at the helm and thus quit. “The president never interfered in cricketing matters. He left it to the CAC who formed the selection panel and looked after what the team needed,” Yashpal said.

“We did try our best for one and a half years. We fulfilled our promises made to the cricketers, got the professionals to run the association (CEO, CFO, GM operations). We made a system but some things are beyond systems and transparency. It was getting tougher by the day,” Sharma claimed.

Interestingly, BCCI, under the leadership of new president Sourav Ganguly, is looking at changes in the Supreme Court-approved constitution that would allow ‘veteran’ administrators to get a longer run.

Reference: Delhi and District Cricket Association chief Rajat Sharma resigns