Sports tribunal’s decision to scrap interim committee leaves cricket body in abeyance

There have been split reactions following a decision by the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) to disband the Interim Management Committee (IMC) from running cricket in Kenya yesterday.

Indeed, battle lines are drawn as the respondents have arranged to appeal the ruling in High Court, setting the stage for full blown legal drama that could spell limbo in the local game. The case stems from a hearing that was conducted from July 11-12 whereby three claimants; Tom Tikolo, Rajesh Patel and Sukhbans Singh of the Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) took the IMC to the SDT for not having mandate to run the sport following the resignation of Cricket Kenya officials in February led by chairperson Jackie Janmohamed.

The SDT ruling pointed out that no proper reasons were provided for a Special General Meeting not to take place despite the CK General Manager Muriithi Githinji sending out notice to delegates. There were demands by the Interim Management Committee for audit of accounts of CK and its affiliates.

SDT chairman John Ohaga in his ruling ordered they commence the process of calling an SGM to replace the vacancies so that cricket operations could resume normalcy. “The process would be supervised by the tribunal and the matter shall be mentioned on September 4 for further directions. This matter goes back to the fundamentals of governance of any body. This must be visible in the constitution of the organisation,” read part of the ruling.

Edward Odumbe, a member of the now defunct IMC, expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling since it threatened the very existence of the sport, saying:  “We are talking to our legal team because we feel that our concerns were largely ignored. It means the job we have done for the past three months was null and void. As it stands, cricket cannot move because contracts have been rendered useless and accounts will be frozen. It is most unfortunate and we hope to seek justice elsewhere.” Acting CK chairman Harpal Singh  told People Sport a meeting with the Executive Council will be slated today to chat the way forward. “This matter needs to come to an end because it is the sport and players who will suffer. My worry is national players feel so disillusioned that some might quit,” he said.

Sports lawyer Evans Majani suggested that the aggrieved have the option of seeking alternate redress. “The door is not closed if they (claimants) feel that they still have a case. They can always seek judicial review in the High Court. A couple of times, there have been decisions quashed based on loopholes in certain rulings,”  said Majani.

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