More questions than answers in BCCI's response to Lodha
The SGM convened by the BCCI to discuss the Lodha Committee's recommendations played out on predictable lines, with the board deciding to submit a consolidated response based on its members' views. The BCCI has entrusted its secretary Anurag Thakur with filing an affidavit pointing to the "anomalies and difficulties" in implementing the recommendations. While the BCCI did not elaborate on these anomalies in its press release, it is understood that they pertain to certain recommendations such as bringing the BCCI under the Right To Information act, the one-state, one vote rule and the age cap for office bearers.
The head of a state association, who was present at the SGM, suggested that the discussion was fairly open-ended. "There are ten different people standing up with ten different things. Each state association has its own problem," he told ESPNcricinfo. "In the meeting each state committee gave their report to the BCCI so the BCCI is going to take a collective view and file an appropriate response. The grievances or points pointed out by the various state associations will be brought to the notice of the Supreme Court."
While he ruled out the possibility of member units fighting their own legal battle, a top BCCI official said nothing stopped a state association from doing so if it wished. An official of the Cricket Club of India, which according to the Lodha report has "no cause" to be treated as a Full Member, admitted to mulling legal action. "Our contributions to the BCCI over the years have been significant," he said. "We will present our arguments to the Supreme Court."
There also appeared to be a lack of clarity on when the affidavit would be submitted. IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said it could be done before March 3, the deadline given by the Supreme Court, but BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur hinted that it was unlikely to be done by then.
The other point of discussion was the governance and financial restructuring of the ICC following the ICC board and committee meetings earlier this month. It is learnt that some members were not too pleased with BCCI president Shashank Manohar's proposal of a new revenue-sharing arrangement that could see the board lose a significant chunk of its revenue.
"If there is monetary loss to the BCCI then people want to take a look at the suggestion", the state association head said. "It was just a suggestion made [by Manohar] so the president and the secretary have to take a look at those contracts. It's a step-by-step process. In one meeting there are 40 people sitting. So nothing can't be decided soon. Slowly the path will come."
There was similar ambiguity over the reworking of the Future Tours Programme from 2016 to 2023 in order to "ensure equitable distribution of the matches." While no official was available for comment on the matter, it is understood to be a suggestion put forth by Manohar to ensure that the smaller boards' teams don't suffer from a few powerful member boards firming up mutually convenient schedules.
Arun Venugopal is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo