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BCCI Partially Accepts Lodha Reforms After Shukla & Amitabh Convince Members

Baidurjo Bhose |Cricketnext | Updated: July 27, 2017, 10:25 AM IST
BCCI Partially Accepts Lodha Reforms After Shukla & Amitabh Convince Members

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New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) adopted the Lodha panel’s reforms partially during their Special General Meeting on Wednesday, but the groundwork for the same started during the board’s last SGM on June 26, a day after the SC-appointed Committee of Administrators met the state associations and requested them to partially adopt the Lodha panel’s reforms.

Speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official in the know of developments over the last month said that it was the trio of acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla and Jyotiraditya Scindia who convinced the members to step aside and do away with the ‘time killing’ tactic proposed by former chief N Srinivasan and his loyalists.

“It is indeed a positive step and one where we can now show the apex court that we are moving forward and the intent is to implement the Lodha panel’s suggestions. To be fair, while the board officially decided on this path on Wednesday, the foundation stone was laid during the June 26 meeting when Choudhary, Shukla and to an extent Scindia put their foot down and requested the members to work towards refurbishing the image of the BCCI which had taken a huge hit in the last year thanks to not just the stubborn attitude of some of the members, but also due to the removal of the president and secretary by the Supreme Court,” he said.

According to the minutes of the meeting on June 26, a copy of which is with CricketNext, Choudhary was the first one to speak about how the COA had understood the practical problems the board was facing in implementing some of the suggestions and said: “When the Committee of Administrators took over, they were also seized of the matter because that was there principal job. In the course of their own meetings and interactions with the office bearers they have been able to reach a position where they share some misgivings on certain aspects of the principal judgment.”

Scindia also felt the need to have a clear picture as to how the board wished to go ahead with the whole process and said: “There is no easy solution to this. I, for one, feel that today the highest court of the land has pronounced a verdict. We are seen on the outside as an organization that is very obstinate and very stubborn in terms of accepting even what highest court of land has adjudicated. We are meeting today on the 26th of June and we are saying now we need to show some progress. So my first question is what have we been doing all these days. Progress cannot be shown just fifteen days before a hearing because no Court is so obsequious that will not see through that veil. So if progress has to be shown then it has to be shown right from the last hearing till today.

“The setting up of some committee I don’t believe is going to be great progress because the Court is going to see that as another bureaucratic hurdle that the BCCI is putting. So the way forward for us is very clear. To me, it is bi-modal. It is either we go ahead and accept it or (b) if we don’t, then we formulate a process with which we say we are going to stick with the earliest and, which is what Srinivsan ji adjudicated or you look at a mid path. Those are the three options that are open to you, either you do nothing, or you accept in toto or you look at something in between. That is what we have to formulate.”

It was ultimately Shukla who cleared the air and requested the members to look at the way the court had softened its stance and how even the COA had agreed to help the board in presenting its case to the SC. And Shukla felt that the time was ripe for the BCCI to move forward and set the ball rolling.

“You know, situation in the last four months have changed drastically. Earlier, the Court was very rigid. They were not willing to listen to us. Whatever Lodha Committee has recommended and later went along to implement. Last four months, what I’m saying is that even COA is willing to reopen the Lodha verdict. They are saying that these two, three, four things are wrong and we will go the Supreme Court and submit an affidavit in which we will say that these things should be corrected, that is reopening of the Lodha verdict, which is a good development. The attitude of the new bench is also quite positive that way and the matter should be resolved in a most positive manner,” he said in the meeting.

The reforms that have not been implanted are:

1. Matters pertaining to membership, one state one vote, retention of full members, Railways, Services etc.

2. Definition of powers of appointed executives.

3. Size and constitution of apex council.

4. Restriction and disqualification of office bearers and ministers and government officials, age, tenure and cooling off period.

5. Size of national selection committee.

While not accepting the age and tenure cap might be an indication that old guards like Niranjan Shah and Srinivasan manage to stay relevant despite disqualification, there is definite progress and the members are willing to move on and refurbish the image of the BCCI.
First Published: July 27, 2017, 10:12 AM IST
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