Lodha committee accuses BCCI of undermining its role

BCCI may drop Paranjape, Khoda from selection panel
Last Updated 28 September 2016, 18:03 IST

The Justice Lodha panel on Wednesday accused the BCCI of repeatedly taking steps to undermine the apex court committee's role, constituting contempt of the court.

In its status report filed on Wednesday, the committee submitted that its direction on August 31 to the board to conduct only routine business in its AGM on September 21 was not complied with as it went ahead to appoint Ajay Shirke as Hon Secretary.
Besides, the BCCI also decided to appoint the Senior selection committee and nominated Sharad Pawar as an alternate director to represent in ICC meetings.
This “frustrates the implementation of the SC's judgement,” it said.

“BCCI repeatedly taken steps to undermine the committee with several statements and actions which are grossly out of order and would even constitute contempt,” the panel said.

“Despite several emails to the President to the BCCI as well as direction to appear before the committee on August 9, there has not been a single response from him,” it said.

Listing out objectionable statements by BCCI president Anurag Thakur and others, the committee pointed out he requested the ICC to issue a letter saying the committee amounted to governmental interference.

“With as many as seven of the timelines to be complied with by September 30, it is now clear that the BCCI is in no position to ensure that the timelines mandated by the SC are complied with,” it said.

The apex court had on July 18 put its stamp of approval on recommendations relating to structural changes by the panel in its final report on January 4, rejecting the objections made by the BCCI and other cricket associations.

The court had then asked the Lodha panel to supervise the process for implementation of the  recommendations within a maximum six months after drawing the timelines for its “complete understanding of and insight into the nature of the problems sought to be remedied”.

Under scanner
As a result of the stinging status report, the BCCI is likely to remove senior national selectors Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjape when the members meet for SGM this Friday.

While there is a possibility that the entire selection committee may be overhauled, Khoda and Paranjape’s ouster now looks imminent as their appointments were in direct violation of the Lodha Panel’s recommendations.

Both Khoda (2 ODIs) and Paranjape (4 ODIs) have never played Test cricket which the Lodha Panel made mandatory for appointment in senior selection panel which they wanted to be restricted to three members.

While Khoda was from the earlier panel, Mumbai batsman Paranjape was newly inducted in the panel during the BCCI AGM on September 21.

The three others in the panel are MSK Prasad, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh — all Test players but with collective experience of 13 matches in longest format.
“It’s unlikely that Gagan and Jatin can be kept in selection panel. In any case, I don’t think BCCI is now in a position to get into further confrontation with apex court and it’s appointed panel,” a BCCI officialsaid.

“If we remove Gagan and Jatin, it will in any case conform with panel’s guidelines of having three ex-Test players as senior selectors.”

(Published 28 September 2016, 18:03 IST)

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