Panel against ministers, govt officials in BCCI

Favours legalising betting

Panel against ministers, govt officials in BCCI

A Supreme Court-appointed committee on Monday suggested major restructuring of the BCCI, including barring ministers and government officers and limiting terms of the office-bearers.

In its final report, the panel headed by former Chief Justice of India Justice R M Lodha, recommended allowing only former cricketers to have a say in team selection and coaching, and suggested passing a law to allow betting excluding players, match officials, administrators and team owners.

The panel also favoured bringing the cricket body under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

After interacting with former players, administrators, journalists, lawyers and others in 35 sittings, the panel finalised its report, stating, “The need of the hour is not cosmetic but fundamental change, which will lay the proper foundations on which the BCCI can function in a professional and transparent manner.”

“The collective conscience of this committee is clear that tough measures are called for to restore Indian cricket to its pinnacle of glory. Individual interest will have to be sacrificed for the sake of the institution. The current governance structure of the BCCI and its member associations is far from satisfactory and it needs to be suitably restructured,” it added.

The committee, also comprising former Supreme Court judges Justices R V Raveendran and Ashok Bhan, suggested that only one cricket association from one state can have voting rights in the 30-member BCCI, and each state has to be given its due representation.

The committee left it to the BCCI to decide which association is to represent the state in the case of Maharashtra and Gujarat which have multiple bodies.

Favouring a cap on number of terms on office of the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and joint secretary, the committee said they can hold office for a period of three years but with a maximum of three such terms with a cooling-off period after each term.

A person would be disqualified from the post on turning 70 or if he/she had held the post for a cumulative period of nine years, among others.

The recommendation could end Sharad Pawar and N Srinivasan’s innings in the cricket board as they are above 70 years of age.

Among other suggestions, it also said that the 14-member working committee be replaced by a 9-member apex council. In 159-page report, the panel recommended for forming independent players association by a steering committee comprising former Home Secretary G K Pillai, former cricketers Mohinder Amarnath, Diana Edulji and Anil Kumble.

The committee suggested for appointment of former SC judge or ex-CJ of a high court as ombudsman as an internal dispute redressal mechanism to address grievances of members, administrators, players and even members of public.

The committee was formed on the apex court’s January 22, 2014, order after charges of betting and spot fixing rocked the 2013 IPL.

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