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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • EashwarSai on February 5, 2016, 15:00 GMT

    It is laudable that the Supreme Court is taking an interest in cleaning up the game.But the BCCI needs to be given some more time to process the report. Some of the proposals can really harm Indian cricket. The one about no commercials between overs and only allowing them for lunch and Tea. No broadcaster will agree to that without reducing the money paid to the BCCI. Instead there should be more transparency in how the money is being spent. And threatening to 'implement them for you' sounds like Judicial overreach to me. This rancor seems unnecessary when India is ranked No 1 in tests, T20s and No 2 in ODIs.

  • vish57 on February 5, 2016, 7:49 GMT

    Are we still in colonial age to have Kingdom based members? Looks still many in BCC I have nepotism.

  • aravindhancan on February 5, 2016, 7:20 GMT

    More the things change in BCCI , more they remain the same. Manohar should first set BCCI in order by implementing Justice Lodha recommendations in letter and spirit. Whatever interests Manohar wants to concede in ICC , should be widely and transparently debated .

  • vswami on February 5, 2016, 4:58 GMT

    @ANSHU.S why should Maharashtra have three votes with Vidharba, Maharashtra and MCA while say, Tamil Nadu have only one. This is what reforms are about. Bring about uniform, transparent rules and destroy lopsided vested interests. As far as governance is concerned, the report is spot on. Where the report over extends itself is getting into areas of commercial decisions. Those recommendations make no sense.

  • on February 5, 2016, 4:07 GMT

    I am now optimistic that that report will be implemented. Only objection BCCI and their associates are raising is that it is against the set procedures they have created for their own benefits. Some even go to the extent of historical pride etc. The fact is that these were the very policies and procedures set up years back that have brought the situation to such critical level that Supreme Court of India is forced to intervene in sporting matters. I hope that the court will stand firm and overhaul the BCCI and cricket associations completely.

  • PratUSA on February 4, 2016, 23:55 GMT

    When the committee was set up it was said that report would be binding. Only since the report was submitted that view had disappeared, mainly because Justice Lodha didn't say so and left it on Supreme Court to decide. Now the court once again has clarified the situation. No doubt BCCI will try to drag it, file petitions, and what not, but there is optimism now that just like Srinivasan had to give up in the end, so would BCCI too. Let the true stakeholders of the game, the fans, have it back once again.

  • smilingsenthil on February 4, 2016, 23:12 GMT

    @WALKINGWICKET11, When was the question asked ? It is basically a direction from the SC.

  • Nampally on February 4, 2016, 21:39 GMT

    When BCCI has its own definition for terms like "Conflict of Interest" & in administration of Cricket's huge Revenues, corrective action was essential. SC has done a grand job in its impartial interpretation of various responsibilities which will streamline the BCCI. The biggest piece of justice was served by providing the Women Cricketers annual contracts which produced instant results in India beating the Aussie Women in ODI series. "Gender equality" is being practiced all over, in the advanced countries- clearly BCCI had its head in the sand on this issue. Most of the other changes are equally good & fair. BCCI had over a month & did nothing, hoping that the matter will go away with their "ostrich like" approach. But SC will not rest till they get results! Wake up BCCI!

  • Unnikuttan on February 4, 2016, 20:13 GMT

    All sports in India including cricket need a shake up

  • sreehk on February 4, 2016, 19:27 GMT

    Supreme action by the Supreme Court of India. Hats off. BCCI is getting a taste of it's own medicine, that is bullying. Hope that this is truly true. No politicians, no conflict of interest posts, no cooling period drama, no hush hush audits, no tycoons or lawyers ruling the game. Professional CEO administrating the game with ex-players as corecore, all fair n accountable under RTI. Salute Supreme Court. Wish they will not let BCCI loose till it is really over.

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