Blatant violation of rules while appointing CEO of HCA, says Mohammed Azharuddin

Abhijit Sen Gupta
Abhijit Sen Gupta

Hitting out at the lack of transparency and disregard for the standard procedures, Mohammed Azharuddin, President of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, has charged his rivals with blatant violation of rules while appointing the CEO of the organisation recently.

In a letter addressed to the affiliated clubs of the HCA, Azharuddin stated that apart from the violations of the constitution of the HCA and procedural infirmities, the hiring process was apparently done under the collective responsibility of the Vice President, Secretary, Joint Secretary, Treasurer and Councillor. But neither Azharuddin himself, nor the players’ council nor the CAG representative were kept in the loop, Azharuddin alleged.

The letter written by Azhar further mentioned that an advertisement was issued in the newspapers on 27th of October 2020, for the post of CEO and CFO. There were six requirements that had to be fulfilled by the candidates to be eligible for selection.

They were, firstly that the candidate should have a management degree with sufficient experience in different layers of organisation, secondly the candidate must have knowledge of budget planning and financial prudence, thirdly the candidate should have operational knowledge of cricket operations, fourthly the candidate should have the ability to implement innovative administrative methods, fifthly the candidate should have the ability to handle regulatory bodies and finally the candidate should be a team player.

According to Azhar, Law 23 (1) of the HCA states that the candidate should have management experience of at least 5 years as CEO or MD of a company having a turnover of at least 100 crores. This is the basic eligibility. The laws further state in 23 (3) that the eligibility criteria for CEO shall be laid down by the Apex council members keeping in mind the following guidelines:
The candidate should have knowledge of cricket and other sports, understanding of the financial position and fiscal direction of the HCA, knowledge of operations of cricket administration, clarity on role, division of responsibility and hierarchy and finally, familiarity with legal responsibilities and attendant risks.

Further, Law 23(4) states that there shall be an appropriate induction process laid down by the Apex council for the appointment of the CEO which shall include a fair and transparent process of appointment. “It is sad to note that all above requirements of the laws were disregarded,” wrote Azharuddin.

He further wrote that 12 CVs were received between 27th October 2020 and 11th November, 2020. The CV of the candidate who has been selected is not in the list of 12 CVs, said Azhar. “When and how did his CV come into the reckoning? ” questioned Azhar. The advertisement issued in the newspaper instructed the applicants to reply within 15 days but it was not mentioned where to apply, according to Azharuddin.

Documentary evidence of the candidate having been a CEO of a company with Rs.100 crore turnover is a basic criteria and should have been proved by a letter from his employer. This is the first level of shortlisting that should have been done. From the shortlisted candidates, a panel of experts from the fields of cricket, finance, law and administration should have examined the candidates and then only selection should have been done.

None of these steps were followed according to Azharuddin.

Based on these transgressions and disregard for rules, the President termed the appointment of the CEO as illegal and invalid.

Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.