India news January 7, 2016

BCCI silent in public but starts internal response

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Ugra: A familiar way for BCCI to tread

Three days after the Lodha Committee submitted its report, the BCCI is yet to make its first public move, with no official statement being issued by the board and senior officials preferring to speak off the record. While the general consensus in the board is to proceed slowly, it is wary of being seen to be dragging its feet.

The BCCI took its first step towards acknowledging the report on Wednesday when Anurag Thakur, the board secretary, sent an e-mail to all BCCI members asking them to study the Lodha Committee recommendations, figure out how it would affect each member individually and report back the findings by January 31. The letter, which has been published on the board's website, asks the associations to seek expert advice as "some of the recommendations have far-reaching consequences."

The Cricket Association of Bihar, whose public-interest litigation triggered the Supreme Court's intervention in the 2013 IPL corruption scandal, has decided to wait for a maximum of two weeks for the BCCI to make public its response. If the BCCI fails to act, the CAB could move the Supreme Court again.

Despite the closed attitude adopted by the BCCI top brass, apprehensions within individual ranks are growing among the BCCI ranks. A president of a prominent state association, who is also part of one of the board's top sub-committees, said that if the Lodha Committee took a year to compile its report the BCCI could afford to wait for some time, study the report and then make a decision whether to implement the recommendations or not.

"Ultimately this report envisages the complete dismantling of the board. Assuming that we have to do it, first of all we don't have to do it, it can be for reasons of academic nature and out of curiosity," the member president said.

He also believed that it was board president Shashank Manohar's responsibility to make a public statement putting forward the BCCI's opinion on the various recommendations considering the public, adding that the silence was not helping the board's cause. He said that Manohar, a senior lawyer, should use his credibility and his reputation as an honest administrator to regain control of the narrative.

The consensus legal opinion, though, is that the board cannot arbitrarily reject the proposals. "They cannot refuse it by simply saying we do not accept the proposals," a senior legal counsel who has dealt with BCCI for long, said.

On the issue of whether the BCCI was bound to accept the reforms, RM Lodha, the chairman of the committee, had stated that it was not the committee's job to suggest the course of action for the board. Legal opinion suggests the BCCI can approach the Supreme Court to permit the board to file a review before the Lodha Committee.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • D N on January 9, 2016, 4:32 GMT

    One association per state is not acceptable. These are associations that have carried the history of Indian cricket and to deny them a place today is in my view cricketing sacrilege. Obviously, Lodha does not respect history. The way to reform is not by destroying institutions but rebuilding them well.

  • Shekar on January 8, 2016, 5:45 GMT

    Let's see - the BCCI is being asked to dismantle itself. Hmm - I am not holding my breath this will happen. In that sense, the committee's report is specious - why write this lengthy, long overdue, unimplementable report - I wonder if the committee is angling for plausible deniability of any involvement should a corruption scandal emerge.

    Lofty Platonic ideals have served no one. Me thinks the SC should enforce the provisions and get done with it.

  • Rajan Nagarajan on January 8, 2016, 0:09 GMT

    One of the suggestions is one member per state which will Maharashtra and Gujarat very weak since Maharashtra has Mumbai Maharashtra Vidharba and CCI. Gujarat has Gujarat Saurashtra and Baroda. A big stalemate

  • Nanda Kumar on January 7, 2016, 18:35 GMT

    Irrespective of BCCIs stand my feel is that SC will want all the points Implemented. Important to note that the committee was set up by the SC and the head was the ex Chief Justice of India with the other two members being very senior retired judges of the SC. don't see SC rejecting the recommendations of such a high power committee.

  • Haksar on January 7, 2016, 13:52 GMT

    A slow and steady professional approach would do a world of good in this case for BCCI.

  • Ajay on January 7, 2016, 13:41 GMT

    we can bet Shashank manohar will atleast consider enforcing some recommendations.. good going..

  • Jayachandar Dhandapani on January 7, 2016, 13:35 GMT

    I think we should follow honourable RM Lodha suggestion as it would clean d BCCI in all aspects. I'm in support of His report.

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