by Shakir Ashraf

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir High Court Tuesday quashed the Court Appointed Administrators (CAA) of the Jammu and Cricket Association (JKCA) along with removing Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ashiq Bukhari.

Remnants of the last international cricket match that was played in Srinagar in 1983. The picture was clicked in 2010. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

The Divisional Bench (DB) of Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) to run the management, control, and administration of the JKCA till elections for the Association are held.

The DB’s order came in the petitions of 2018 filed by a bunch of people seeking implementation of  Lodha Panel recommendations.

“For past three years there no match was held at Sheri Kashmir Cricket Stadium. Only trials were held at the stadium in which blue-eyed players were called,” said Manzoor Dar, a petitioner.

“We are now hopeful that the deplorable condition of cricket in J&K will change for the better,” Dar said in context of the DB’s verdict.

Earlier, former cricketers of Jammu and Kashmir had also written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asking it to form a Cricket Administrative Committee for the J&K Cricket Association, adhering with the Lodha Committee recommendations.

In a letter to the BCCI Chief Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah, three former cricketers Abdul Qayoom Bagaw, Majid Dar, and Arshad Bhat  had requested the Board to look into the matter.

“We the former first-class players of J&K, request you to formulate a Cricket Administrative Committee which is in lines with the Lodha panel recommendations so that eligible cricketers can come to the forefront and select the deserving players,” the letter read.

“Since the taking over of the reins of JKCA by the Court-Appointed Administrators & the CEO, strange directions have been initiated in JKCA which are against the Lodha Panel recommendations which is almost hostile towards the welfare of the cricket, ” the letter further stated.

Alleging the current state of affairs at the JKCA was not favourable for young cricketers, the letter had also raised some allegations against JKCA CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari.

“It is further added that CEO JKCA has no authority to appoint the selectors, coaches and sports staff moreover he himself does not fill in the criterion to be the CEO as per Lodha recommendations.”

The DB of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Puneet Gupta while disposing of petitions observed that there was no further need of the continuation of CAA and the CEO.

The Court has directed the BCCI to run the management of JKCA till a new body is elected under its supervision with further direction to CAA to immediately hand over the affairs to a new body.

The DB further directed the BCCI that while finalizing the amendment in the constitution of JKCA in conformity with the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee as approved by the Supreme Court, consult all the stakeholders, including the parties (i.e., the representatives of the erstwhile clubs of the JKCA as also of the District Cricket Associations now formed by the CAA) litigating before this Court.

“The BCCI shall ensure the promotion of cricketing activities in Jammu and Kashmir as well as in Ladakh in tune with its approved Constitution and at par with other affiliated Associations from various States and Union Territories of the country,” DB directed.

The BCCI has been further directed to ensure that the required infrastructure on the ground is improved and made available to the cricketers of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh without waiting for an audit report.

The BCCI has to make endeavor to ensure that the boys and girls playing the game of cricket in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, from different age groups, are provided all facilities to excel in the game of cricket not only on national, but also at the international level.

Court directed the BCCI shall be authorized to appoint a Committee, sub-Committee to run, administer, control, and supervise the affairs of the JKCA till the elections are held and a body of the JKCA is elected under its supervision. “Where-after the administration, control, and supervision of the JKCA shall be handed over to the newly elected office bearers of the Association”, the order reads.

Both the Deputy Commissioners of Jammu as well of Srinagar have been directed to cooperate with the BCCI for ensuring implementation of the directions passed by the court for any requisitioned assistance.

“They shall ensure preparation of an inventory of movable and immovable property of the JKCA and furnishing the same, along with the list of assets and liabilities of JKCA as existing on the date of this judgment, to the BCCI during the course of this week”, reads the judgment.


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