Responding to allegations of not being “proactive”, former India opener and coach Anshuman Gaekwad, who is presently the representative of Indian Cricketers' Association (ICA) in the BCCI apex council, said that both he and his colleague Shantha Rangaswamy, former India captain, were actively following up on the demands of the ICA and former cricketers can expect positive results soon.
ICA president Ashok Malhotra, in a video posted by him on social media, had lamented the lukewarm response of the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI to ICA's demands. He had also said that both Gaekwad and Rangaswamy could be more "proactive"in their role as independently elected members of the ICA who carry ICA recommendations to the apex council. Malhotra indicated that there were differences between him and his colleagues in the ICA, and said that he was finding it difficult to work, as four other directors of the ICA had asked him not to make public statements.
Speaking to THE WEEK from his home in Baroda, Gaekwad reiterated that he and Rangaswamy were leaving no stone unturned to get the BCCI apex council to fulfil the demands of the ICA, which include pensions for domestic players' widows and medical insurance, among other demands. "From the first BCCI apex council meeting to the fourth one held day before yesterday, both of us ICA representatives are following up actively with the BCCI, regarding ICA demands. It's all in the records, they are minuted. And we expect positive results from our interactions soon. We all know the BCCI has not just ICA's demands but other important decisions to make, given the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country. They have been responsive to our demands and suggestions," Gaekwad said.
He agreed with his other ICA colleagues—the four directors, Hitesh Majmudar, V. Krishnaswamy, Yajurvindra Singh and Rajesh Nayyar—who sent an email asking the president to follow the Companies Act and adhere to the process before making any statement. "He (Malhotra) should also keep everyone in the loop before making a public statement. Whatever discussions take place with BCCI, both I and Shantha communicate it to our ICA board of directors. If he has a problem with us not taking up ICA's demands strongly enough, then he should speak to me and Shantha."
The ICA board of directors are, reportedly, unhappy with Malhotra's comments on Bihar Cricket Association in the video, which, per them, is tantamount to exceeding his brief.
However, Gaekwad said that despite Malhotra's grouse, there weren't any major differences between the ICA office-bearers and all issues were easily resolvable. "What stops Ashok from calling me and asking me something? He should call me. After all, I am his senior (laughs)!"