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Test, ODI leagues and Kochi settlement on BCCI SGM agenda

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri at a press conference Sajjad Hussain/AFP

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has instructed the BCCI to call an emergency special general body meeting (SGM) to discuss three specific issues. The three issues pertain to: settlement dispute concerning the former IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala, the new Future Tours Programme (FTP), which will comprise the Test championship and ODI league, and the inclusion of Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) back into the BCCI fold after it was suspended once Lalit Modi was elected its president in 2014.

It is understood the CoA's decision came on the back of a request from BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary, who felt the members needed to be briefed about the three issues as otherwise no decision could be taken without the consent of the members, the state associations.

In the e-mail, which was sent on Tuesday to the top three BCCI office bearers, the CoA asked CK Khanna (acting board president) to send the SGM alert to all the board members by Thursday. The committee also asked Khanna to point out to the members that the SGM would be attended by only eligible office bearers of the state associations. The CoA also made it clear that Rahul Johri, the BCCI chief executive officer, would be attending the meeting.

As per the BCCI's existing constitution, the president can call for the SGM with a 21-day notice period. However, only the president has the power to reduce the notice period to 10 days and the CoA asked Khanna to do the same. In case Khanna failed to send the notice by Thursday, the CoA asked Choudhary to send the notice alert. But if Choudhary does end up sending the notice, then he would need to give a 21-day alert as per the rules.

Of the three issues on the SGM agenda, the FTP and Kochi are the most significant points. This October, at the ICC Board meeting in Auckland, the BCCI along with the other boards gave its in-principle nod to the Test championship and ODI league structures.

The Test championship is scheduled to commence immediately after the 2019 World Cup and will run for two years culminating in a final in 2021 between the top two teams. The first ODI league, featuring the game's top 13 limited-overs nations, will commence in 2020-21, running for two years leading into the 2023 World Cup, before converting into a three-year league in each cycle beyond that.

The finer points of both leagues, including the week-by-week schedule, are likely to be discussed by the member boards at the ICC's next scheduling workshop in Singapore in December. Without the approval of the BCCI general body, no decision can be taken by Johri, who will be attending the workshop.

As for Kochi issue, the BCCI needs to decide whether and how much it should pay the owners of the franchise, whose agreement was terminated in 2011, two seasons after it came into existence. The BCCI had also encashed the bank guarantee of INR 153.34 crores at the time of termination, which the owners contested in the court. The court asked the matter to be settled via arbitration.

In 2016, the Kochi owners won the arbitration case, which said that the BCCI would not only refund the bank guarantee amount encashed by them, but also pay an additional INR 384.83 crore towards compensation for termination of the franchise.

Subsequently, the BCCI's attempts to resolve the issue amicably failed as the Kochi owners wanted a compensation upwards of INR 1000 crore. During the SGM in May, Choudhary told the members that the BCCI would negotiate a settlement soon.

In October, the IPL governing council resolved that the BCCI was left with no choice but to pay the compensation. Hence, the CoA now wants the members to take a collective call on the subject.