By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Money should be used in a transparent manner and I will ensure that all Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) financial transactions are put in public domain via the association’s website, says Rohan Jaitley, who is set to get elected unopposed to the post of DDCA president.
“The financial aspect of the DDCA needs to be cleansed. It should be done in a transparent manner; it should be very open. There should not be any grey areas. It should all be in the public domain and also on the DDCA website. There should be no questions being asked,” Jaitley, 31, told IANS in an exclusive interview.
Jaitley, son of late union minister and ex-DDCA president Arun Jaitley, filed his nomination on Wednesday after getting overwhelming support from all groups within the DDCA. The polling, if required, will take place from October 17-20 and the results are to be declared on October 21.
DDCA is known for its notorious ways of administration, and in the last few years several instances of financial misappropriation have come to light. Lately, crores of rupees have been spent on litigation. But, strangely, nobody has been penalised in any case so far.
Interestingly, Jaitley is a lawyer, like his father, who was DDCA president for 14 years (1999-2013). He promised fair play.
“Transparency will not only be in the financial committee; infrastructure development and club facilities are a must. Ground keeping is a must. We will keep money in investment, funds…we will see. We will utilise it as and when needed, because that’s something that the auditors will have to approve. So, let’s see how it functions. I think some funds have to come from the BCCI because its AGM has not been held,” said Jaitley.
Apart from financial issues, interference and corruption in selection of teams has been rampant over the years.
“We will lay the procedure for selection of team in black and white. I am 100 per cent going to ensure that. I am going to get a ‘blue book’ made, and [apart from records of financial dealing] it will have chapters on selection of teams, the criteria for selection, and how players have to be brought in,” said Jaitley.
“Professional cricketers would be requested to handle the cricketing affairs and give their inputs that will in turn be put in play. I am sure there are good hands to guide and assist me. If you need improvement in cricketing affairs, only cricketers will advise you better – be it the present or former cricketers. In turn, there will be checks and balances, and SOPs that will be at play. So, there will be a good vision document, which will mostly satisfy all persons concerned,” he said.
The post of DDCA president fell vacant after senior journalist Rajat Sharma, whose team was elected with an overwhelming majority in July 2018, quit in a huff in November 2019 after massive disagreements with certain office-bearers. Sharma also faced the complaint of being inaccessible as he hardly visited DDCA during his 16-month stay.
“I don’t have that problem. DDCA is like an extension to my body, and running it is in my blood. And about accessibility, I am open to everybody. Whether members have queries or anything, I am freely available to everybody,” he promised.
When asked if he would find time from his profession as a lawyer, Jaitley said: “It’s not time-consuming. Time is not a problem. It is the way administration is supposed to be run. There is a professional way of running and there is a dignified way of running it. You need your left and right hands to run the show. I am not saying someone ancillary or an extension of the body to be running the show, but someone on a better footing.”
Unlike Rajat Sharma, young Jaitley has received support from all DDCA factions. That brings along a lot of responsibility as well and he would be answerable to those who have supported him.
“Responsibility is not a question. There are systemic problems, and they will be resolved. Problems faced by Sharma ji and the association secretary [Vinod Tihara] were there earlier also; they inherited those from the previous administration. But I don’t see it as a concern. They will be addressed,” he said.
Jaitley acknowledged the existing factionalism in DDCA. “There are groups and factions that are at play. All of them have brought me and I am sure I will have freedom to work around. But there will be professional people running the show. I don’t see much interference from that aspect,” he said.
Would not having experience of cricket administration be a handicap for Jaitley?
“I haven’t been involved in cricket administration, but I am sure it’s not going be tough. There are ways to go about it. There will be professionals dealing with certain activities. This was among the requirements of the Lodha Committee-suggested reforms, which talk about the need for CEO and CFO. Professionals will be brought into play, the way it should be,” Jaitley averred.
“I understand the aspect of cricket administration. I know how a cricket body is administered. The idea is to put in an effective — and a versatile — manner that improves it. Some improvisation is needed in administration so that proper administrative decisions take place.”