An unpleasant New Year gift

Fall in line or we will make you fall in line -- these terse words from the Supreme Court 124 days ago dawned upon the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as an unpleasant New Year gift on Monday. The order on Monday came as the Supreme Court was left with no choice after the BCCI kept circumventing its directions to have a clean and transparent cricket administration.

It all started in January 2015 when the apex court appointed a committee under former Chief Justice of India R M Lodha to look into BCCI's functioning following controversies over its Indian Premier League. Nineteen months later in July 2016, the court set in motion a process to revamp the way cricket is run in the country. This was not an task run because in every step, the Lodha panel and the court met with resistance. The key recommendations -- whether it was one-state-one-vote rule, stringent eligibility criteria for office bearers, bar on ministers and government servants to hold positions -- ran into a wall with BCCI dragging its feet.

"...the directions of this Court were ignored, actions were taken by BCCI to present a fait accompli to the Committee and the directives issued by the Committee were breached," the court said in October. The latest flash point came after the court said Thakur asked the ICC for a letter that the appointment of a nominee of CAG to BCCI would compromise its autonomy and amount to government interference.

The cash-rich BCCI also came under criticism earlier when the court found disparties in disbursing funds to state associations and said, "the impression that one gets is that you are practically corrupting the persons by not demanding how the money is spent. It's like the moment you want a vote and their hands will go up."
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