India news February 4, 2016

Supreme Court gives BCCI one month, little wriggle room to respond to Lodha report

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Third shot for the BCCI to set its home in order

The Supreme Court of India has asked the BCCI to let it know by March 3 whether it would implement the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee on January 4. The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur, and Justice Ibrahim Kalifullah said it was happy with the Lodha report and had accepted it, and indicated that the BCCI should accept and implement it as well.

"If you have any difficulty in implementing it we will have the Lodha Committee implement it for you," Justice Thakur told the BCCI counsel, a view he repeated several times.

In an oral submission before the court on January 25, the Cricket Association of Bihar, the original petitioner, wanted the bench to take up the matter for hearing. It was responding to a letter received from the court's Registrar, who had written to both the BCCI and CAB informing it was placing the Lodha Report in front of the two-judge bench.

In its response, the BCCI's legal counsel said that it had a lot of reservations. He told the court that BCCI's three-man legal committee was scheduled to meet this Sunday to review the Lodha report. He also pointed out that the BCCI had sent the report to the state associations to individually seek their feedback. He told the court that there were certain anomalies found in the Lodha report and the BCCI would need more time to study and further review the Lodhal Panel recommendations.

However Justice Thakur dismissed the request for any extension, saying the court could allow spending more time for any further discussions. He also said the court was going to accept the Lodha report completely and implement it.

The BCCI then requested a little more time to respond where they would give some suggestions.

The Lodha committee, appointed by the Supreme Court in January 2015, recommended a complete overhaul of Indian cricket, from the very top down to the grassroots level and affecting every stakeholder. Its report, presented to the court last month, covered every aspect of the game with special focus on the BCCI's administrative and governance structures and the issue of transparency.

The most important set of recommendations aimed at transforming the entire power structure in the board. It changed the BCCI's electorate to one association per state - some states have three - and removed the vote from associations without territorial definitions (e.g., Railways and Services).

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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