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Cricket club official quits over slapping incident

Club's deputy president is under probe by SCC for a disciplinary case, say sources

Singapore

THE deputy president of the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) has resigned from his position following an allegation that he had slapped a young sports member of the club at its premises.

Club president Colonel (Retd) Gurcharan Singh informed members via e-mail yesterday that he had received and accepted the resignation of Ananda Kumar, from the club's General Committee, effective from Wednesday. In his note, Col (Retd) Gurcharan did not give any reason for Mr Kumar's abrupt resignation.

Sources told BT that Mr Kumar, a businessman and an active sportsman of the club, is under investigation by SCC for a disciplinary case where he is alleged to have been embroiled in a fracas with a junior sports member of the club and the member's brother. The identities of the siblings are unknown, but according to sources, the junior sports member is a well-known marathon runner.

Some members of the club, who prefer to remain anonymous, told BT that the incident, which reportedly happened early last month, saw Mr Kumar being approached by the brothers at the club's main entrance.

The exchange between them - supposedly about the club's sporting direction - became heated, resulting in Mr Kumar slapping one of the siblings. The clash was eventually broken up by the club's front-desk staff and the matter was reported to senior management.

When contacted by BT yesterday, Col (Retd) Gurcharan acknowledged that the incident took place, but tried to play it down as a "friendly scrap between two guys".

He also said that it was premature to comment on the matter as it was still being dealt with.

"It is a small incident and a course of action is being decided. He (Mr Kumar) has resigned but we are still in the midst of the disciplinary process," he explained.

Club sources told BT that the 160-year-old club has established a "special disciplinary committee" to investigate the incident, in view of Mr Kumar's senior position in the club's General Committee, as opposed to the usual channels of the Rules & Membership Sub-committee which handles disciplinary proceedings involving members.

It is widely believed that Mr Kumar could face a long suspension from the club if he is found to have breached its code of conduct.

The date for the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings has not been announced but it is believed that a decision on Mr Kumar's fate with the club will be made at the next SCC general committee meeting on Oct 29.

The special disciplinary committee is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the General Committee by then.

Meanwhile, Mr Kumar's resignation means that the SCC will have to look for a new deputy president.

In the note sent to members yesterday, Col (Retd) Gurcharan confirmed that the SCC will hold a Special General Meeting to elect a deputy president in accordance with the club rules. The details and date of this meeting will be communicated to club members separately, he wrote.

SCC club Rule 35(e) specifies that the General Committee must call for a meeting to elect a new deputy president within a month of such a vacancy, as long as it is not less than three months to the next annual general meeting (AGM).

As the club's AGM is only scheduled for March next year, the SCC General Committee is bound by rules to call for this special meeting to elect a new deputy president by Nov 9, 2013 - marking a month since Mr Kumar's effective date of resignation.

Initial speculation among club members suggests that up to four candidates could be vying for the post, with two names - Rules & Membership sub-committee member Parasuram Krishnan and former deputy president and current Finance sub-committee member Mike Grice - seen as frontrunners.