Cornered BCCI makes another attempt to escape Lodha Committee recommendations

Photo: PTI

Cornered BCCI makes another attempt to escape Lodha Committee recommendations

Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

Pushed into a tight corner by the sweeping reforms recommended by the Justice Lodha committee, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) members convened the special general meeting (SGM) in Mumbai on 19 February.

With the reluctant state associations finding it hard to wrap their heads around some of the issues, the BCCI, as expected, unanimously decided to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court pointing out the "anomalies and difficulties" in implementing the Lodha committee recommendations.

The Indian cricket board has also told the state associations that they can file an affidavit separately on the difficulties they faced due to the far-reaching effect on the implementation of the recommendations.

Though the BCCI has decided to set in motion the process of hiring a chief executive officer (CEO) and a chief financial officer (CFO) for the board, the other prominent and more influential recommendations are yet to see the light of the day.

With less than 15 days left to report to the apex court on the recommendations, the BCCI secretary will file an affidavit on behalf of the Board seeking legal opinion on certain issues listed in the Lodha committee report.

Here's why some of the prominent Lodha committee recommendations have got the BCCI members running for cover:

One state one vote

The Lodha committee recommended that only one association should represent an entire state which will only get one vote. This recommendation, in particular, has been the main argument for the Board and its member associations.

Once implemented, the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra - who have three different full member associations - will find themselves in trouble. The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), who will retain the voting right by virtue of being the oldest, will only support this recommendation as long as the three associations in Maharashtra continue to exist.

However, if the same were to apply in Gujarat, where Baroda is the oldest association, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) - headed by BJP president Amit Shah - will lose out on the BCCI voting right. The recommendation will also deny voting rights to Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA), currently the full member of the Board.

Age cap

Another vexing issue for most associations has been limiting the tenure of the office-bearers and restricting their age limit to 70 years. The move will undoubtedly rule out a host of current office-bearers.

The recommendation poses a direct threat to SCA president Niranjan Shah. If Lodha committee's recommendation comes into effect, 71-year-old Shah will be forced to quit. And, that is exactly why the SCA has decided to file an affidavit against this recommendation in the apex court.

Apart from the SCA, the age cap immediately affects two stalwart administrators - former BCCI presidents Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan. Pawar, who is 75 years old, is currently the president of the MCA, while 71-year-old Srinivasan is the undisputed leader of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA).

Similarly, Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) chairman IS Bindra and secretary general MP Pandove (70) will also find it difficult to continue in their respective positions.

Holding positions in state cricket and BCCI simultaneously

The Lodha committee also aims to restrict the office-bearers from holding positions simultaneously in both state cricket associations and the BCCI. To understand it better, an individual cannot hold a position in the Indian cricket board during his tenure as an office-bearer in the state cricket association or vice-versa.

Its implementation will hamper the role of BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur who is also the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA). Apart from Thakur, the move will also affect BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary (President of Jharkhand State Cricket Association) and BCCI treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary (Haryana Cricket Association secretary).

The recommendation will force the above listed BCCI office-bearers to relinquish at least one of the two posts.

Rohan Raj

Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj