BCCI revamp

Lodha committee submitted its report on 4/1/2016. The committee consisted of for CJI R. M. Lodha and former Justices Ashok Bhan and R. V. Raveendran. The committee made many recommendations. Most of them are good, some are not clear, and one regarding making betting legal is bad.
Good to have former Test cricketers who retired five years before as national selectors. How is seniority decided? Date of birth, selection or Test debut.
President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer should be former Test cricketers.
Good to have three terms of three years each and age limit of 70 years.
Good to restrict full membership to associations that field Ranji Trophy teams. Having one vote for one state is a problem for Maharashtra and Gujarat. Maharashtra has three Ranji Trophy teams: Mumbai, Maharashtra, and Vidarbha. Gujarat has three Ranji Trophy teams: Baroda, Gujarat, and Saurashtra.
Betting shall not be legal. It leads to match-fixing, spot-fixing, session-fixing, and toss-fixing.
Ban on ministers and public servants from holding BCCI and cricket association posts is good. It would have been better if only cricketers were to hold offices in BCCI and state and other Ranji cricket associations and all non-cricketers were banned. Managers of cricket teams should be former cricketers. For Test teams they should have played Tests.
Politicians are unhappy. Sharad Pawar was BCCI President when he was Agriculture Minister. Now he is above 70. Arun Jaitley, Farooq Abdullah, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Manohar Joshi, Narendra Modi, Rajeev Shukla, and others have held positions.
On 4/2/2016 Supreme Court bench of CJI T. S. Thakur and Justice F. M. I. Kalifulla told BCCI to implement Lodha committee recommendations as they are straight, reasonable, understandable, and deserve respect and there is no reason to disagree which has the most illuminated and respected members of the legal community. This was in response to BCCI lawyer Shekhar Naphade’s argument that there is need to consult 30-odd BCCI member associations. Supreme Court fixed 3/3/2016 as the next date of hearing.
Many BCCI officials are unhappy. Ajay Shirke has openly come out against recommendations. Others have privately given excuses to journalists for not carrying out the recommendations.
Lodha committee suggested doing away with zonal rotation for BCCI presidentship as it might prevent the best and the most competent person from being selected. BCCI’s claim or excuse that doing away with zonal rotation is not good because India is a vast country and it is imperative that every zone gets a fair share of opportunity is a poor joke. Zonal rotation came a few years back. When it was East Zone’s turn nobody from that zone got selected as BCCI president. It was Shashank Manohar from West Zone. Arun Jaitley was expected to be East Zone nominee. He became minister and did not show interest. N. Srinivasan was barred by Supreme Court. Both of them were not from East Zone.
The argument by BCCI officials about ban on ministers and bureaucrats holding BCCI offices is that without them cricket bodies cannot run well. Politicians, especially ministers, get clearances easily. There is blanket ban on politicians holding officers, only on ministers. If a cricket association cannot function smoothly without a minister at the helm, it should shut down. Political patronage can cover up many illegalities and swindling as we have seen in the case of DDCA.
Lodha committee rightly barred a person from holding a BCCI post and a state association post simultaneously. This is for decentralisation of power. BCCI officials say this will compromise governance of cricket. They are wrong. When a person holds two posts there is scope for conflict of interest and favouritism. Recently we had the case of Nagpur Test pitch report. With Shashank Manohar there was triple conflict of interest. He was ICC chairman, BCCI president and VCA president.
Those who argue against nine years limit give examples of N. K. P. Salve and Jagmohan Dalmiya as fine administrators. They do not mention Dalmiya spent time in jail. Dalmiya was ICC president. He overruled technical committee report that recommended ban on Shoaib Akhtar for wrong bowling action. Dalmiya’s return as BCCI president is a fact stranger than fiction.
Advertisement-free telecast will result in loss of revenue. Not many will pay extra to watch matches on TV. Different series are telecast by different channels and subscribing to all of them or disconnecting and changing channels according to the series is a problem.
Politicians may decide to form Mumbai, Vidarbha, Baroda and Saurashtra states to circumvent one state one vote rule. They may even like to have Brabourne Stadium state or union territory.
Over the years many Ranji Trophy teams have disappeared. They are Central Provinces & Berar, Eastern Punjab, Gwalior, Holkar, Kathiawar, Madhya Bharat, Nawanagar, North West Frontier Province, Northern India, Northern Punjab, Patiala, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, and Western India.
On 5/2/2016 when questioned about BCCI not implementing Lodha committee recommendations Anurag Thakur replied “The BCCI is not looking at an escape route.” He said Lodha committee had taken 12 months to prepare the report; BCCI is taking just two months to deliberate and discuss.
On 7/2/2016 BCCI’s legal committee met and decided to convene a Special General Meeting to respond to Supreme Court.
BCCI has resisted coming under Right to Information. Lot will change when BCCI comes under RTI.

Updated: March 19, 2016 — 7:13 pm

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