The 150-odd pages of the Justice Lodha committee recommendations to the Supreme Court about the governing of the BCCI form an astonishing document. It runs through 10 chapters and then more, playing sledgehammer across some sections and comfort pillow in others.
Sledgehammer to entrenched administrators and comfort pillow to Indian fans who believe they are entitled to dream. The report offers an earth-shaking raft of recommendations. To what extent they are implemented is now dependent on the Supreme Court's next instructions, and the BCCI's lawyers.
The report offers no new revelations, and contains no previously unspotted fault-lines. What it deals with was always known and in the public domain, even if some of it - like the BCCI's constitution and accounts - tended to be kept secret until four months ago.
The good judges have acknowledged, with fulsome praise, the BCCI's scale of operations, the logistical efficiency of staff, and its financially self-sufficiency. They have said that none of the recommendations will challenge the board's autonomy or "interfere [with] or limit" its work. What the Lodha report does instead is duly detail - and very thoroughly - the rather large loopholes in the BCCI's essential governance framework and functioning and their unprofessional consequences.
At the end of their year-long exercise, the Lodha panel has asked the BCCI to self-regulate and helpfully given them a detailed pathway to do so.
What kind of people would say no to self-improvement?
Through their dissection, examination and inspection of the BCCI's functioning, the venerable judges have put a question to those in the highest offices of cricket administration, and indeed of all sports administration in India: why are you here?
The Lodha panel recommendations are so wide-ranging and thorough that the BCCI can neither miss the wood nor the trees
For the love of sport? Or for the position and the power and the perks it brings? Take away the power and the perks and will the love remain?
While every official's earliest intentions might have been to drive change in a sport they truly cared about, as time went on, the trappings of the position led to the development of an organisation with a "general apathy towards wrongdoing".
At the height of the IPL scandal in 2013, a former player turned official, unhappy as the BCCI's unseemly power struggles played out on news television, said, "You must come into the board to give to the game, not to take from it." The Lodha panel recommendations want this principle to apply to everyone at the top of the BCCI - all the way down to the heads of the smallest state association. The recommendations will shake the foundations of Indian cricket administration because that is what the panel believed needed to be done. Indian cricket, it said, needs "not cosmetic but fundamental change".
The radical solutions have been arrived at by applying two simple tests: "Whether this [measure] will benefit the game of cricket" and "What does the Indian cricket fan want?" The ecosystem - of tournaments, games, players, schedules - has been kept intact, but the BCCI's power structures have been taken apart and governance has been separated from the game's daily management.
The Lodha panel report reaches deep into the BCCI's essential building blocks - the state associations and demands that the BCCI ensures its members replicate changes at the top down the order. It suggests scrapping many fundamental BCCI quirks that are centred around voting rights, and has shaken the tree so hard that any aspiring young official must wonder whether there is any fruit left on it at all.
At one point, the report says, "Individual interest will have to be sacrificed for the sake of the institution and no exigency of convenience or convention shall stand in the way of the whole structural overhaul." On another day, those words could have been from a newspaper editorial produced during some routine BCCI saga. This, though, belongs to a report ordered by the highest court in India, one that contains mind-altering stuff for the BCCI. It is full of words and phrases like "independent" and "professional" and "external consultant". Bring them on, it says.
The Lodha panel has worked over the BCCI in such fine detail that there will no doubt be murmurs of "judicial overreach". That is a valid argument on some occasions but also used as a handy stick by those receiving inconvenient judgements from the courts. There will be resistance and there will be quibbles, because power is never ceded easily. The questions arising from the recommendations will be many, because the panel has covered every aspect of the BCCI's functioning: from the president's office to the ticket counters at stadiums.
Are three selectors better than five? How can a CEO appoint a coach? Can't the best selectors not come from among heavily feted Test players? Does a captain also become a selector? As if television will ever agree to cutting down on adverts during matches - don't these guys understand the modern sports industry?
Whatever they may think about the modern sports industry, the Lodha panel have certainly set a modern industry governance standard for the BCCI.
There are several parts of the panel's recommendations - pertaining to limits of age and the tenures of officials, and accountability - that find reflection in India's National Sports Code, which aims to restructure all Indian Olympic sport, and has been resolutely dead-batted by political patrons across party lines. The report mentions that the Supreme Court had pointed out the "tacit concurrence and support of the Central and State Governments in activities which create a monopoly over cricket". Replace the word "cricket" with any other sport and that is tale of sporting governance in India.
What the Lodha panel has done is cover every aspect of how the game is governed, over and above how it is managed or operated. The panel has focused on the background stuff that makes Indian cricket such a whirling circus of conflicts of interests, monopolies, sleight-of-hand favours, and a VIP culture. In an environment where roles, functions and friendships overlap, the idea of "conflict of interest" has been difficult for players and officials to deal with, but it was brought into the centre of the IPL spot-fixing case by the Supreme Court.
Like patient teachers explaining to slightly dazed students, the panel has spelt out what conflict of interest means, using a list of examples - as many as 22. No names are taken but famous folk are easily identified. "Several cricketers of impeccable repute were surprised when queried about what were obviously potential conflict situations, needing to be convinced that no wrongdoing was necessary for a conflict to exist. The Committee had to point out to them that the very holding of a position which could be abused to undermine the integrity of the game renders the occupant vulnerable to such a charge."
The panel has essentially laid out an entirely new BCCI constitution with a set of tough rules - largely for the rulers. It has brought women cricketers and players of disability - who for most of the last decade have been ignored or left on the outer reaches - into the BCCI's mainstream administration set-up.
What the Lodha panel asks of every high-ranking elected "honorary" BCCI official is whether they would pitch for a job that, in a changed set-up, offers a limited term, fewer rewards, and one that will have to be given up after three years.
The Lodha panel recommendations are so wide-ranging and thorough that the BCCI can neither miss the wood nor the trees. What they do with the recommendations will decide whether sports governance in this country has any chance in hell.
Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo