BCCI Refuses to Fall in Line, Will Counter Lodha Reforms in Supreme Court
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it has accepted some 'significant recommendations' of Lodha panel. But the recommendations which were not accepted will be taken forward to Supreme Court
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in its Special General meeting (SGM) has decided to form an Apex Council, as recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel. However, it has rejected some key recommendations in an act of defiance.
"Recommendations of Lodha committee were discussed in the SGM. Many significant recommendations were accepted. There are few recommendations which failed to get acceptance from the members. A detailed report of the same will be given to the Supreme Court," Anurag Thakur, BCCI president, said after the meeting.
"We have invited the members to adopt the Lodha committee's recommendations. All the members participated in the meeting."
Key recommendations rejected
The BCCI rejected key recommendations like one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years and cooling-off period of three years, setting the stage for another round of confrontation with the apex court.
The Board's Special General Body deliberated on the recommendations and chose to stick to their stand by accepting only a few minor recommendations as most of the members were on the same page.
They have also not accepted the recommendation on selection panel, which called for three selectors, instead of five, and with Test experience.
Among the significant recommendations adopted unanimously in the meeting were induction of the representative of Comptroller and Auditor General as the member of the Apex Council as well as the IPL Governing Council and the formation of the Apex Council with certain modifications.
The BCCI release mentioned about the "various committees as recommended by the Hon'ble Justice Lodha Committee including the special committee for the differently abled and the Women's Committee".
Another recommendation was "formation of the Players Association and their representation on the Committee". As per one of the recommendations, the SGM authorised the CEO to contact the steering committee as proposed by the Justice Lodha Committee and commence the formation of the cricket players association.
The members were unanimous in giving voting rights to the Associate members as per the ICC guidelines. It was also decided that Puducherry be granted associate membership of the BCCI as proposed at Item No. 7 in the timeline report.
As per the Board statement, the SGM also accepted (Item No 3) Code of Conduct for Players and Team Officials, Anti-Doping Code, Anti-Racism Code, Anti-Corruption Code and Operational Rules of the first timeline report of the Justice Lodha Committee for implementation for the next IPL season."
The release further said, "With regards to (Item No. 4) of the timeline report issued by the committee, the members drew the attention to the fact that while it was the effort to ensure a 15-day gap between the national calendar and the IPL - the same will not be possible in the year 2017 because of the ICC's Champions Trophy being scheduled in England at around the same time."
"Item No. 5 (Agent Registration Norms) of the timeline report - was adopted unanimously."
No word on key reforms
However, there was no word on the major reforms recommended by the Lodha panel.
Justice RM Lodha had made it clear that none of the reforms suggested by the panel are non-negotiable. The committee had asked the BCCI and its state associations to adopt the new Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations by September 30.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur said all members attended the meeting barring Vidarbha Cricket Association, which became the first full member of the BCCI to adopt the MoA and Rules and Regulations as recommended by the SC appointed committee.
The BCCI cited some reforms undertaken by it over the last 18 months such as formation of cricket advisory committee to guide the Board on cricketing matters, appointment of retired stalwarts Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid as coaches of the senior and A teams and appointment of CEO and CFO.
It said that a transparent process was followed to appoint new selectors, conflict of interest regulations were made and sent to all the state associations besides appointing an Ombudsman to look into all the conflict of interest cases.
The BCCI also said that there had been enhanced media engagement and press conferences after selection and major meetings were organised, while player interaction on cricket tours became a regular feature.
It also pointed out that social media verticals were used to connect with fans and bring them closerto the game and their favourite cricketers, besides efficiently organising one of the most successful World T20 tournaments.
The BCCI also claimed that IPL 2016 was one of the most memorable and non-controversial tournaments despite a lot of logistical challenges and last-minute changes.
(With inputs from Anurag Dwary and PTI)