BCCI not shying away from Lodha report - Thakur
The Supreme Court of India's ruling on Thursday might have suggested its annoyance with a perceived lack of seriousness on the BCCI's part in implementing the Lodha committee recommendations, but Anurag Thakur, the BCCI secretary, has insisted the board is following a due process and not dilly-dallying. The Supreme Court has given the BCCI a March 3 deadline to implement the Lodha recommendations or "We will implement it for you". Thakur didn't say if the court's view was acceptable to the board, but maintained the BCCI had not been looking for an "escape route".
The Supreme Court's latest deadline comes exactly a month after the Lodha committee made the recommendations public. The BCCI has, to date, not spoken about the merits of the report, or its objections, in public or in court. On Thursday, the BCCI submitted that its legal committee was due to meet on February 7, a response the court didn't like.
"We will take an easy way out," Chief Justice TS Thakur told the BCCI counsel. "We will ask the very same committee to implement it. We will tell them the BCCI has some problems, so please help them in implementing it. We have seen the report. When all the members have been consulted and their views have been taken, what is the problem?"
The BCCI secretary couldn't say what was wrong with the report, but said it was justified for the board to take its time. "We need to understand it is not a one-page report," Thakur said. "It is a detailed report, which will have a lot of consequences on the working and the functioning of the BCCI. A committee has taken close to 12 months to come up with it. We are taking close to two months to discuss, debate, and after deliberations come to a consensus to implement that report. We are not slow.
"When the report came, I wrote a letter to all the state associations to call their meetings. Many state associations have already held their managing-committee or working-committee meetings. They are going to have their special general meetings before the BCCI's special general meeting in the third week of February. So I think it is a due process. We are not slow at all. We are not shying away. We are not looking at any escape route."
Thakur did betray mild annoyance at the committee's recommendations. "We believe in transparency and accountability," Thakur said. "And the last nine months we have proved that the steps taken by BCCI are in the right direction. Certain changes that we have brought in have been applauded by everyone. Justice Lodha has recommended many things. We have requested the state cricket associations to look into that. They are the members of the board, they form the board. So every member has a right to look into the recommendations and come up with their suggestions.
"And yes, our legal committee met. We are again going to meet on the 7th. The special general meeting has been called in the third week of February. We have requested the state associations to come up with their suggestions and recommendations before that. It is a due process that we have adopted. And as far as the details on the recommendations of the Lodha panel are concerned, during the next hearing in the Supreme Court we will definitely go and give our view on that.
"If you look at the 1983 [World Cup] winners we were unable to give enough money to that team. Thirty years down the line we have done something good, which has paid off. We are one of the best-run boards in the world. It can't be that everything is wrong in the BCCI. You can't say that. I think what we have achieved over the last 30-40 years should also be looked at."