KSCA elections: The last leg of the race
Bengaluru: The battle lines are drawn at the Karnataka State Cricket Association, where over the last month foes have turned convenient friends, and dirty linen is being washed in public.
On Sunday, a new managing committee will be elected by the 1,832 members, who will vote for 24 posts. And much like the previous two elections, this time, too, it’s going to be a keenly fought war between two factions.
On one side of the pitch are the cricketers-backed Sadanand Maiya and Co., while the other side has Srikantadatta Wadiyar and Brijesh Patel’s team, attempting a comeback into KSCA politics after a three-year lull.
It will also mark the last day in office of the regime of Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath, who were president and secretary respectively. With the duo opting not to seek re-election, the elections have been robbed of fanfare and star presence, but not of the bitterness.
This election will mark the third high-profile contest Karnataka cricket has witnessed over the past nine years. In 2007, Wadiyar and Patel formed different groups and won the elections to the top posts, while 2010 marked the historic debut of international cricketers of repute as administrators.
It also saw Patel withdraw from the elections, and ‘publicly’ back Kumble and Srinath, while Wadiyar formed the opposition.
While the forces of Wadiyar and Patel have realigned in a bid to wrest back power, the latter finds himself in a sticky situation, with men from the cricketing fraternity standing up against him.
It isn’t a happy situation for the 60-year-old Patel, who has faced severe backlash from Kumble and Srinath in recent days. Although the man himself has refuted the allegations, they have left his campaign dented.
The build-up to the elections has been lackadaisical, barring the bearing of their hearts by Kumble and Srinath.
Team Wadiyar and Brijesh have been left to resort to issuing clarifications to their opponents’ barbs.
In fact, while Kumble and Srinath repeatedly called for public debates, the rival group has opted not to take the bait and, instead, keep the issues for the AGM on the morning before the actual action takes place.
The agendas set by the two fractions stand in contrast.
The Maiya group, which is backed by cricketers led by Kumble, has spelt out a clear vision for the development of cricket in the state. Team Wadiyar and Brijesh have fallen back on a plan to ‘undo’ the supposed mistakes of the previous committee. Their main focus is on reviving tournaments that had been stalled by Kumble’s team.
The contest for the post of the president is touted to be a close one between Maiya and Wadiyar, while the scales are tilted in Patel’s favour in the race to the position of secretary.
While Patel goes into the contest as a past secretary, his opponent, former international referee A.V Jayaprakash, had lost the previous election to Srinath and falls below Patel in the popularity charts.
The race for the other 18 posts in the managing committee can go either way, although, according to people in the know, Maiya’s team has an edge.
The AGM will be held at 11 am and the election process will begin soon after.
QUICK FACTS Number of members: 1485 Number of clubs: 347 Posts: 24 President, Secretary, Treasurer and three Vice-Presidents Six life members, six cricket clubs from Bengaluru and six clubs from mofussil centres will be elected to the Managing Committee CANDIDATES President: Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, Sadananda Maiya Vice president: R Sudhakar Rao, Sanjay Desai, PR Ashok Anand, CR Lakshminarayan, Ramadhyani, J Abhiram Secretary: Brijesh Patel, AV Jayaprakash Treasurer: Tallam Venkatesh, Dr Dayanand Pai Managing Committee: Dodda Ganesh, Mallikarjun Swamy, Srinivas Murthy, VM Manjunath, Raghuram Bhat, Laxman Nathani, Vijay Bharadwaj, Ramesh Chugh, J Srinivasan, Raghunath Beerala, BN Madhukar, MM Harish Clubs: Bangalore: City Cricketers, Swastic Union Cricket Club, Vultures Cricket Club, Jayanagar Colts, Vijaya CC (Malur), Bangalore Cricketers, Gary Cricketers, Royal Cricket Club, Herons CC, Malleshwaram United CC, Deccan United CC, Select Cricketers Mysore : RBN CC, National CC Shimoga: Kannada Yuvaka Sangha, Durgi Gudi Cricket Association Mangalore: Mangalore Sports Club, City Cricketers Dharward: BDK Sports Foundation (unanimously elected) Tumkur : Tumkur Occasionals, National CC Raichur: City XI CC, Jaya Vijaya Cricket Club.