As expected, Sanjay Desai and R Sudhakar Rao respectively were elected as the interim president and secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association on Thursday (January 5).
The posts of the president, the secretary and the treasurer had fallen vacant on Tuesday after PR Ashokanand, Brijesh Patel and Dayanand Pai respectively stepped down following a clarification by the Supreme Court that said that the rules of eligibility it had laid down for office-bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India applied to state associations as well.
The managing committee of the KSCA met on Thursday evening and elected Desai, Rao and Srinivas Murthy (treasurer) for an interim period until the association’s bylaws are amended to fall in line with all the edicts of the Supreme Court.
Desai and Rao, both erstwhile vice-presidents, were also a part of the state senior selection panel, with Rao as the chairman. Raghuram Bhat, the former India left-arm spinner, has been drafted into the panel and will be its chairman, the KSCA said in a press release, while VS Thilak Naidu, the former Karnataka wicketkeeper-batsman, will be the fourth member of the selection committee that also includes Dodda Ganesh and Fazal Khaleel.
Desai, 61, played 41 Ranji games for Karnataka between 1973-74 and 1977-78, and shared a then record unbroken first-wicket stand of 451 with Roger Binny against Kerala in 1977-78. He becomes the third KSCA president in a little over three years. Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar had been elected president in December 2013, but passed away not long afterwards, following which Ashokanand took charge as the president of the KSCA until his resignation on Tuesday.
Rao, 64, played one One-Day International and represented Karnataka in 83 first-class games, scoring upwards of 4000 runs, and was a member of the state squad that triumphed in the Ranji Trophy thrice in nine seasons between 1973-74 and 1982-83.
“Sudhakar Rao and Sanjay Desai on being elected as president and secretary resigned as state selectors,” Vinay Mruthyunjaya, the KSCA spokesperson, said. “In their place Raghuram Bhat and Thilak Naidu were inducted as new state selectors and Raghuram Bhat will be the chairman of the state senior selection committee.”
Bhat, the left-arm spinner who played two Tests and took 374 wickets in a storied first-class career, had been the chairman of the state Under-19 and Under-16 selection panels while Naidu, one of Karnataka’s most successful wicketkeeper-batsmen with 93 first-class caps, had headed the Under-23 selection committee.