SRINAGAR: The much fancied elections for Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association—custodians of the sport in the state—were finally held, throwing many a surprise on an eventful Monday.
The incumbent president Farooq Abdullah’s ‘don’t want be JKCA president again’ statement proved to be his playing to the gallery dash, as ruling National Conference chief held on to his post without any opposition. Majority of the incumbent members didn’t feature in the new team with post multi-crore scam ‘sidelined’ group making a return to pocket some of the prime post in the association.
Arvinder Singh Micky was chosen as chairman unopposed, and the prized post of general secretary went to ML Nehru. Seasoned cricket administrator Ghulam Mohammad Bhat was elected as new treasurer, and Idrees Gundroo pocketed the post of joint secretary (Kashmir Wing) with Sudershan Mehta his counterpart for Jammu wing.
GM Ronga bagged vice-chairman, Kashmir Wing and Rakesh Kumar was chosen for the same post for Jammu division.
Save for Sudhershan, who had to fight it out with Ankush Abrol of KC Cricket Club Jammu, the newly elected office bearers didn’t face any opposition. The newly appointed committee will hold the office for three years.
The return of Nehru, Bhat and Gundroo can be viewed as victory of Ahsan Mirza, former general secretary, who was in the thick of multi-crore scam, and him making a comeback in the future could well be on cards.
Post scam, pro-Mirza group didn’t have much say in the association decision as even players from club associated with them didn’t get many chances to represent J&K.
The incumbent lot was ruling the roost in all JKCA affairs, but latest results have turned the tables.
As has been the case with JKCA over the years, the election day had its share of controversies. New team JKCA was understandably delirious, but there were some agitated members as well, who weren’t impressed with the way elections were held. They felt those who did their bit to unearth multi-crore scam were shown the door purposefully and some of them “weren’t allowed to vote.”
The agitated lot said that new team was constituted more of politicians than cricket players.
The elections had an eventful build-up with Farooq Abdullah announcing that he didn’t want to contest elections saying, “I don’t want to be the president again. I have had my time; I have contested many an election, now it is time for someone else to take over. Working committee and general body will nominate the new guy. I won’t be nominating anyone for the post.”
But as the things panned out during elections held in a local hotel here as per the court direction, Abdullah was elected president again, unopposed, as has been the case in the past. It was the first election since the association was hit hard by the scam in early 2012 when some of its members were accused of bungling huge money.
Newly elected JKCA chairman Micky told Kashmir Reader that everyone associated with JKCA had “requested Farooq Abdullah to continue holding the president’s post, which he upheld to work for the betterment of J&K cricket.”
Out of 64 members authorised to vote to elect office bearers, Micky said, only 45 were turned up.
50 out of 64 members are elected by the clubs/institutions affiliated with the association, while remaining 14 are members chosen by the government.
The outgoing regime was selected in 2011 in which Farooq Abdullah, who has been heading the body since its inception in 1984, was re-elected as president, unopposed.
Ahsan Mirza was elected general secretary while Aslam Goni was elected as chairman, but unearthing of the multi-crore scam meant Mirza, Goni and administrative officer Saleem Khan had to resign.
NEW TEAM JKCA
Farooq Abdullah: President
Arvinder Singh Micky: Chairman
ML Nehru: Gen secretary
Gh Mohammad Bhat: Treasurer
Idress Gundroo: Joint secretary Kashmir wing
Sudershan Mehta: Joint secretary Jammu wing
Rakesh Kumar: Vice-chairman Jammu wing
GM Ronga: Vice-chairman Kashmir wing