Hyderabad cricket: Several veterans welcome shake-up undertaken by Justice Rao

The affairs of the Hyderabad Cricket Association have witnessed a massive shake-up due to the step taken by Justice L. Nageswara Rao. The decision to bar 57 clubs from contesting or voting in the next HCA elections will have far-reaching implications on the hitherto controversy-riddled functioning of the HCA. By and large, those who are well-wishers of Hyderabad cricket and are not connected with the murky dealings of the HCA, have welcomed the move by Justice Rao and his decision to put an end to the conflict of interest.

Many people in cricket circles and the media were expecting a  tsunami and it was merely a question of when the blow would fall. It is hoped that hereafter the HCA’s image as an inefficient and dishonest organisation will undergo a change for the better.

Khalid Abdul Qaiyum

Former Ranji trophy player Khalid Abdul Qaiyum was delighted about what he said was a positive step to end corruption and nepotism within the HCA. “Such a move was long overdue and now it is a step that must be welcomed by all right-minded persons. Clearly, there existed a conflict of interest till now. Besides, there were people owning up to seven clubs who could chip in with seven votes. Under such circumstances, where was democracy?” he questioned while speaking to Siasat.com.
“In fact, I feel that even more should be done. Family ownership of clubs has to be ended once and for all. There has to be more transparency in the functioning of the HCA. More democracy will come about only if more clubs are allowed to become involved and have an equal say in the running of the organisation,” Khalid explained.

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Ahsan Khurshid

Another former player Ahsan Khurshid was happy that action had been taken against all errant clubs without fear or favour. “For the sake of being in power, all the former cricketers have done a great disservice to the game despite having played at the highest level,” said Khurshid.

“Some of the clubs in the list include even those owned by P.R. Man Singh, who was the manager of the World Cup-winning Indian team in 1983 and is an important figure in Hyderabad cricket. But it is my opinion that the troubles started when he was Secretary of the HCA many years ago,” said Khurshid. “The tracksuit incident that happened many years ago created bad blood between the players and Man Singh. Thereafter things went from bad to worse. Now, what I understood from the statement made by Azharuddin, it seemed that he was trying to remove bogus voters from the list,” added Khurshid.

Parthasarathy Rajagopal

Former umpire Parthasarathy Rajagopal who has followed HCA affairs for five decades but has stayed away from its dirty politics remarked that conflict of interest was a problematic issue and that it was right for Justice Rao to take this step.

“Only people who are not involved in the ownership or promotion of different clubs should be chosen as selectors or managers of Hyderabad teams. Only merited former players should be given this responsibility. The affairs of the HCA need to be cleaned up before free and fair elections can be held. So this is a move in the right direction,” Parthasarathy explained.

S. Venkateswaran

Former HCA Secretary S Venkateswaran who has witnessed for many long years the fluctuating fortunes of the HCA, said that the move was a good one but it could have gone even deeper.

“For my part, I felt that all the erring clubs should have been removed totally. They have got off lightly. There are instances of institutional teams which have been privatized and the names changed. Such manipulation should be heavily penalised. Although the original team owners have not objected so I guess it is difficult to take legal action in such cases. But by and large the action against the erring clubs is a remedial step. Everyone should take it in the right spirit and reform themselves,” concluded Venkat.

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