The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Showcause, at least, on RCA chief
- Kamal Morarka on the offensive; Jagmohan Dalmiya tears into TNCA

Calcutta: The Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) president, Lalit Modi, is set to at least be showcaused by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

What happens thereafter should largely be determined by Modi’s reply. However, the possibility of his being suspended straightaway is being explored by the parent body.

Modi is accused of “suppressing” details of his conviction in the US when he contested the RCA elections earlier this year. He was convicted by a North Carolina court in 1985.

With senior-most BCCI vice-president Kamal Morarka (a former Union minister and an old RCA hand) taking the initiative, the Modi issue was deliberated upon at some length on the first day of the working committee meeting at a new resort near Kovalam.

The meeting concludes on Friday and an official announcement is expected before the members disperse. Morarka, of course, wants Modi suspended immediately.

That action (under rule 38-IV) awaits Modi was first reported by The Telegraph on Tuesday.

Modi had pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of cocaine and false imprisonment coupled with simple assault of one Alexander van Dyne.

Documents placed before the working committee showed he entered into a “plea arrangement” and got a reduced sentence of two years which was executed through five years of “supervised probation.”

Besides the ethical aspect, the RCA’s own ‘constitution’ (amended after an ordinance which is now an act) debars anybody convicted from contesting/holding office.

In fact, according to sources, Morarka even asked the working committee whether it’s desirable to have a “drug-trafficker” at the head of an affiliated unit.

While nobody defended Modi (the RCA isn’t on the working committee), a couple of members opposed to the present dispensation did raise “technical points.”

One being Morarka had, through an affidavit in an ongoing case, also moved the Supreme Court. He then clarified that had nothing to do with the BCCI acting against the head of an affiliate.

The other unit in the ‘limelight’, on Day-I, was the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA).

Quite a few in the working committee have been calling for action as nondescript clubs affiliated to the TNCA filed cases against the BCCI and its immediate past president, Jagmohan Dalmiya.

The clubs did so without any locus-standi and made the BCCI lose millions in its Platinum Jubilee year.

Dalmiya, one learns, was at his explosive best for two hours and rebutted allegations (made in writing to BCCI president Ranbir Singh Mahendra) on the TV rights’ controversy by TNCA head N.Srinivasan.

Ironically, in the lead-up to the last AGM, Dalmiya had counted on Srinivasan’s support. It didn’t take him long to realise he had, for a change, erred.

The TNCA president will reply in the morning, but it’s unlikely he’s going to say much.

Eventually, though, only strictures ' a warning, in other words ' could be passed against the TNCA.

Meanwhile, as expected, the working committee ratified Greg Chappell’s appointment as the Team India coach. His annual remuneration will be in the region of Rs 80 lakh, about the same paid to John Wright.

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