Lodha spells trouble for veterans

SC-appointed panel's suggestions may end aspirations of Pawar, Srinivasan

Lodha spells trouble for veterans

The sweeping reforms suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed RM Lodha Committee, if implemented, could severely shake up the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that has prided over its autonomy.

The implications of the revolutionary measures will end the run of long standing reigns of ministers, government servants as cricket administrators and put curtains on those office bearers who are above the age of 70 years.

The recommendations, though, are not binding and if not in conformation, the aggrieved party has the option of moving court. The top BCCI officials refrained from commenting on the measures insisting they would come up with a reply once they are through with the report, which was submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday.

Among the various recommendations, one which would prick the BCCI most was the cap on the age and tenure for its administrators. It also said the terms of office bearers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Joint Secretary) should be of three years, but with a maximum of two such terms regardless of the post held, with a cooling off period after each such term.

The age rule would straightaway impact Tamil Nadu Cricket Association chief N Srinivasan, Mumbai Cricket Association president and former BCCI president Sharad Pawar, Saurashtra Cricket Association honorary secretary  Niranjan Shah, Punjab Cricket Association secretary-general MP Pandove and its chairman and former BCCI president IS Bindra, all of whom are above the age of 70.

Another recommendation of one-state-association and one-vote policy directly brings under its ambit states of Maharashtra and Gujarat mainly which have three full members representing their respective states, because of their historic legacy.
 Maharashtra therefore exercises votes through the Associations of Mumbai, Vidarbha and Maharashtra while Gujarat fields the associations of Baroda, Gujarat and Saurashtra. The committee has left to the BCCI to decide which of the three associations from Gujarat and Maharashtra would be taken to represent the entire State, and the remaining two associations from each state would become Associate Members, who would field teams the way they have in the past.

Now if Maharashtra is named to represent the state, BCCI president Shashank Manohar won’t be able to vote if need arises in any scenario because he belongs to Vidarbha. Also, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana would be given voting rights as independent state and National Cricket Club (NCC), a body with no cricketing activity also loses its voting power.

The committee recommended the conflicts that arise by holding office both at the BCCI and in the state associations ought to be brought to an end by automatic vacation of post at the local level when elected to the BCCI.

It could impact BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur who is the president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, BCCI joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary who is the president of Jharkhand State Cricket Association, BCCI treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhary who is the secretary of Haryana Cricket Association.

The committee felt the three-member senior selection committee should be ideally comprising only of former Test cricketers with and the one with maximum international caps would be the chairman. The  current selection committee led by Sandeep Patil have four other members, including Vikram Rahour, Saba Karim and MSK Prasad.

More significantly, the one recommendation that would affect BCCI the most was to bring it under the Right to Information (RTI) act. The board has fought vehemently in the past to ward off such attempts by the government in the name of autonomy.

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