Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Savant: The right man to clean up BCCI’s financial mess

The new treasurer of the BCCI, Ravi Savant, a chartered accountant by profession, has been with the MCA for more than two decades. His immediate task would be to clean up the financial mess that the Board finds itself in, especially because the sums involved are humongous.

After the demise of MCA President Vilasrao D e s h - mukh, Savant became its president. Promptly, he focused on the grassroots problems facing Mumbai cricket and by working out various permutations and combinations, he, in consultation with other experienced members of the MCA, restructured the tournaments, a move which has been appreciated.

Interestingly, if you don’t count Sharad Pawar’s reign in the BCCI, Savant is the first MCA official to become an officebearer in the parent body in more than a decade. So what if it’s only for a few months, on an interim basis?

A club cricketer, Savant was always on the forefront in the legal battles that the MCA had to wage against the Garware Club. This was at a time when the MCA had virtually gone bankrupt. A loyalist of the Bal Mahaddalkar group, he was the member of the inquiry committee which banned five members, including three office bearers, for indulging in financial irregularities after the 1987 World Cup.

Since his appointment is only till the next BCCI elections, which will be in the last week of September, he will have to bring in financial discipline which is lacking at the moment. Savant will also have to crack the whip on certain associations which have tended to misuse the financial subsidy that the Board provides.

Whether he acts tough with these associations, most of which are headed by big politicians, is to be seen because the root of financial irregularities of subsidy has become endemic. All he will need is the support of president Jagmohan Dalmiya. The cleanup of the BCCI must begin on the financial front, making it transparent and also ensuring that the money is used only for the purpose of promoting the game.
Makarand Waingankar

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