Calcutta: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has challenged arbitrator Justice (retd) J.K. Mehra’s award in Ajay Jadeja’s favour.
Justice Mehra, it may be recalled, quashed the five-year (match-fixing related) ban, imposed by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee in December 2000, on January 27.
The application for setting aside that award has been filed in the Delhi High Court. It was done Friday. Significantly, the BCCI acted within 24 hours of a directive (from the Delhi High Court itself) that, if eligible, Jadeja be considered for Ranji Trophy.
In fact, given that the 90-day period for enforcing/challenging the award was to end Saturday, the BCCI was actually running out of time.
The bottomline, currently, is that Jadeja’s hopes of a quick return to first-class cricket have suffered a big setback.
According to The Telegraph’s sources, all three lawyers who represented the BCCI during arbitration proceedings — Gopal Subramanium, Harish Salve and Usha Nath Banerjee — are understood to have advised the award be challenged.
[That the BCCI would almost surely act was, by the way, reported in these columns on April 20.]
The 100-page plus application, incidentally, has been moved by advocate-on-record Radha Rangaswamy. Speaking exclusively from New Delhi, Ms Rangaswamy said: “Now, we have to wait for the hearings to begin…”
Apparently, the Jadeja issue took centrestage during an informal meeting of the BCCI office-bearers in New Delhi, earlier this month, where it was decided only legal opinion would influence its stand.
It’s no secret that some very influential people have been lobbying (hard) for Jadeja.
Among others, Friday’s move is bound to be welcomed by one-time teammates of Jadeja who were ‘disturbed’ by Justice Mehra’s award and wanted the BCCI to quickly react.
Belatedly, it has.
Jadeja, stand-in ODI captain in quite a few matches, last played for India in the summer of 2000 Asia Cup (Dhaka).