India news March 2, 2016

BCCI counter-affidavit details reservations on Lodha report

The BCCI has reservations on recommendations like 'one state, one vote', the age cap on office bearers and officials and a limit on the tenure of elected office-bearers © AFP

The BCCI has expressed strong reservations against the exhaustive recommendations proposed by the Lodha committee and the Indian board will present its views before the Supreme Court during a hearing on Thursday. In a 55-page counter-affidavit submitted in the court on March 1, the BCCI stated that it partially accepted some of the reforms, but had concerns on many of the recommendations presented by the Lodha panel on January 4.

In the previous hearing on the matter, held on February 4, the two-judge bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice Ibrahim Kalifullah had asked the BCCI to let the court know by March 3 if it would implement the recommendations. Justice Thakur also told the BCCI counsel: "If you have any difficulty in implementing it we will have the Lodha committee implement it for you."

The BCCI in its affidavit has stated that it has already implemented some of the recommendations such as appointing an ombudsman, putting in place rules on conflict of interest, and releasing advertisements to appoint a chief executive officer, a chief financial officer and other top management positions.

At the same time, the BCCI has listed more than a handful of recommendations that it does not agree with. Ever since the Lodha report became public, the BCCI and its units - the state associations - have been trying to figure out their response to the report.

BCCI office-bearers and most of the major state associations, some of whom have filed their own counter-affidavits separately, have taken strong exception to recommendations like 'one state one vote', an age cap of 70 years for an office-bearer or a board official, and a limit on the tenure for an office bearer to a maximum of three terms of nine years each across positions.

The other major recommendation that the BCCI is staunchly opposing is the limiting of advertisements during Tests and ODIs. The Lodha committee had pointed out that the broadcaster, in an attempt to maximise revenues, inserted ads at "crucial" parts of a match telecast, causing a disruption to the viewer.

The report stated: "Commerce has also overtaken the enjoyment of the sport, with advertisements continuing many a time, even after the first ball and again commencing even before the last ball of the over is played, thereby interrupting the full and proper broadcast of the game.

"It is recommended that all existing contracts for international Test & One-Day matches be revised and new ones ensure that only breaks taken by both teams for drinks, lunch and tea will permit the broadcast to be interrupted with advertisements, as is the practice internationally. Also, the entire space of the screen during the broadcast will be dedicated to the display of the game, save for a small sponsor logo or sign."

The BCCI, however, has said that if it failed to display advertisements between overs, it would suffer a "major revenue hit" and consequently the board would not be in a position to conduct any cricketing events as the value of the broadcasting contracts would be significantly devalued.

The BCCI has also pointed out in its affidavit that it is against the recommendation where a nominee picked by a member of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India will be appointed on the proposed, and powerful, apex council. The Lodha committee had proposed a nine-member apex council to replace the existing working committee and look after the governance of the BCCI.

The BCCI is also against the proposal of having two representatives of IPL franchises on the governing gouncil. The board said that it cannot have franchises on the IPL governing council because it is an "inherent conflict of interest."

Despite its reservations about the Lodha committee recommendations, the BCCI has made sure that the contents of the affidavit remained privy only to the top brass: board president Shashank Manohar; secretary Anurag Thakur (the signatory); Ratnakar Shetty (general manager, game development), PS Raman (legal committee chairman) and KK Venugopal, who would be representing the board in the court on Thursday.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sameer on March 3, 2016, 8:28 GMT

    Pleasantly surprised to see the recommendations about advertising as I was unaware of those till today. We can put up with at lease those annoying ads between overs that cut into bowlers runup, but please stop the stupid, screen hogging ads as the match is going on. But if BCCI can be forced to do away with all ads in between overs, great!! Looking at the BCCI's attitude and counter-affidavit, the whole array of changes done so far might be just a way to fool and placate people and courts into believing that they are doing something. Nothing will change if the supreme court eases its pressure on them. So, hopefully, the don't.

  • ManuJi on March 3, 2016, 8:27 GMT

    Cutting advertising is a brilliant idea, increase the cost of advertising space and decrease the number. Find alternative ways of making money. All they want is money, only focus on essential revenue - don't spoil the viewers experience.

  • Rajasekaran on March 3, 2016, 7:14 GMT

    I seriously vouch for cutting "advertisements between overs". If it is hitting revenue, why not display advertisement after end of 3 or 5 overs instead of every over. How many times you have switched the channel and missed important moments of a match because of too many adverts?

  • Nikhil on March 3, 2016, 4:27 GMT

    I agree with what @cricketview has said. Some of the recommendations are very illogical like 3 selectors for national team instead of 5 in a vast country like India. I think sc should strike out such recommendations which are completely illogical

  • Rajan Nagarajan on March 3, 2016, 4:10 GMT

    One state one team is very good. This way we could also bring in new teams like Bihar Chattisgar etc but Mumbai Vidharba Saurashtra Baroda have to give way for new teams

  • vikar on March 3, 2016, 0:17 GMT

    One state - one vote - one team concept is really good. As of now there are too many teams in ranji. It only going to increase the quality of the compation. Gujrath has 3 teams, Maharashtra has 3 teams! So as the hold they have in admijistration due to extra number of votes. There should be a parity.

  • Cricinfouser on March 2, 2016, 21:32 GMT

    As a viewer, the changes in broadcasting system and ad management gets a high five. Also, BCCI should be rightly brought under RTI. It may have self-governance but RTI is not against it. It only makes one answerable. BCCI manages INDn cricket in all respect and with the interest to build, create and maintain Team INDIA. Its not working for any private team. If you are representing the country, you got to be answerable to the country.

  • Manika on March 2, 2016, 18:26 GMT

    A lot of recommendations are wrong and not logical. BCCI should have given the duty to an e cricketer and not to some one who has not played the game. The recommendations are not worthy to put forward , though few points are very good. Now , BCCI should not be forced to follow all points as BCCI knows cricket and how to govern it.

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