Former Indian cricketer Syed Saba Karim steps down as General Manager of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and from all its operations. The BCCI has asked him to leave and to step down from his current position. They have not yet unveiled or made the statement in public but this silence yells from inside that he was made to resign because of his inconsistency in managing and designing the plans for domestic cricket teams. It had come in the spotlight that he was interfering in the selection process, and was bullying when it was going-on. Karim served many ideas and took many decisions when he was in his position. It was his idea to have Rahul Dravid as the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
He has produced his resignation on 18th July 2020 on the table of President Saurav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah. The BCCI has summoned a meeting next month to discuss the conduct of the domestic cricket during the year 2020-21 sessions. To conduct a general meeting with the officials, it was witnessed that Karim was not invited or made a part of it.
On January 1, 2018, the BCCI came to a decision and appointed Saba Karim as the General Manager of Cricket Operations after Late MV Sridhar, who stepped down from the post the same year. Mainly, he focused to serve and took decisions on several operations like implementing, directing, budgeting, monitoring, and administrating. Also, he was appointed as the national selector from East Zone on 27th September 2012. Openly, it is also claimed that he is the fourth high-profile official to resign from the BCCI after Rahul Johri (former CEO of BCCI). According to some sources, it is also claimed that his style of functioning and taking the decisions was not up to the mark and was mostly incorrect.
On the other hand, it is also alleged that BCCI is not playing well enough to sustain its members and its board for a longer run. It does not appear transparent and has set a paradigm for others to watch. Subsequently, the pillars of the board are falling relentlessly. After the advent of new occupants, there is an array of resignations from the board. Before Karim, Santosh Rangnekar, Financial Officer of BCCI, Tufan Ghosh, Operating Officer of NCA along with the CEO have resigned from their esteemed role from the BCCI board. As the officials of the BCCI have not yet made a statement, it seems reluctant. It has left others in a perplexed state. Moreover, Karim was inept for most of the times. The board needs experienced members who own credentials and leadership to reinforce the planning and decision taken by the board.
One of the board officials has also released a statement that “We have received his resignation; he will serve his notice period. The board will lookout for a new GM (General Manager) in Cricket Operations. The apex council has given powers to office bearers to fill up the post.” Therefore, the post will be filled soon, and the search has been started up for the next general manager. It is expected that KVP Rao, a former Indian cricket player will fill the space in the board officials.
Saba Karim was also involved in some controversies earlier. In the year 2019, the Bihar Cricket Association sent him a notice for interfering in the selection of the age-verification test of the U-16 cricket players by anti-doping manager Abhijit Salvi. In October 2019, he was highly criticized for not arranging enough pink balls for various domestic cricket matches. Recently, his son was suspected of ramming his car into a passing woman and was also booked under the IPC sections 279 and 338.
Focusing on his cricket career in the Indian cricket team, Syed Saba Karim was the right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper. He has played 34 ODIs and one test for the Indian Cricket team. While playing for states like Bihar (in the beginning) and Bengal (later), he has made 700 runs. In 18 years, he had a first-class average of 56 with 22 centuries and 33 half-centuries. Born on 14th November 1967, he has been brought up in Bihar. Post-retirement from his cricket career, he has also appeared in some matches as the commentator. Also, for a while, he has worked in the corporate sector in the communication division of TISCO.