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SC May End Its Innings in Cricket Administration as New Bench Seeks to Wrap Up Court's Role

According to the sources, judges wanted the third member to have an authoritative say amid the bickering between the other two members of the CoA — former CAG Vinod Rai and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:February 23, 2019, 9:51 AM IST
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SC May End Its Innings in Cricket Administration as New Bench Seeks to Wrap Up Court's Role
Illustration of Supreme Court. (Network18 Creatives)
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New Delhi: The appointment of a retired Lieutenant General to administer cricket in India might have surprised many, but it seems the Supreme Court has finally decided to keep away from how the game has to run.

The appointment of Lt Gen Ravi Thodge as the third member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in the BCCI came following a deliberation between the judges and the amicus curiae inside the chamber.

Justice SA Bobde and Justice AM Sapre comprise the new bench in the BCCI matter and the judges were unequivocally clear in the Thursday hearing: "As long as cricket is played well, we are not going to say much or do much."

Sources tell CNN-News18 that the change in the composition of judges hearing the BCCI matter may finally lead the Supreme Court in getting out of cricket administration in the country.

The new bench of Justices Bobde and Sapre has given indications that the judiciary should not be running the game anymore and that it is high time the elected administrators should get back the control. Appointment of a former army officer is just a step in that direction.

According to the sources, judges wanted the third member to have an authoritative say amid the bickering between the other two members of the CoA — former CAG Vinod Rai and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji.

Sources say that judges wanted a "strong" person to control the endless sparring between the other two members, and Thodge, who also has been a sportsman apart from an army veteran, appeared to be a person who fit the bill.

Thodge has also been perceived to be a man who would be in control of affairs at the CoA and would take care of the court’s concerns against differences becoming public.

Not just this, the two judges, according to the sources, believe firmly that the Supreme Court should not interfere too much with cricket and there has to be an end to the game being administered through judicial orders.

"Senior advocate PS Narasimha as the new amicus, a new ombudsmen and a new CoA member...this is all about the Supreme Court finally receding from running Cricket. Judges have given subtle hints and the future hearings will only prove that the new bench has new outlook," sources told CNN-News18.

They added that the new bench is likely to move ahead to have elections conducted as soon as possible and leave the sport to be run by people who have known the game and played it.
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