The Justice R M Lodha-led committee has suggested a paradigm shift in the functioning of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), with a slew of changes that would dismantle the existing ecosystem of the Indian cricket board.
Along with sweeping administrative measures, the committee has recommended the abolition of regional fiefdom, empowerment of players (both past and present), dissolution of the zonal system and raising the level of the cash-rich institution’s accountability and transparency.
But the BCCI has said that these are just recommendations, and it would now form its own committee to look into the proposals before deciding on a future course of action. Former president N Srinivasan and some other senior administrators also questioned the feasibility of the proposals.
For starters, the BCCI will have to introduce a filter for all potential candidates vying for top posts within the board. They will be part of an apex panel, which will be armed with all powers related to the board’s governance, and their tenures will be limited.
Regardless of post — president, secretary, joint secretary, vice-president and treasurer — no official can hold on to any seat for more than nine years in all. Each term will be reduced to three years and every elected apex council member will have to undergo a cooling-off period of three years after each term. They also cannot be ministers or hold government positions, and will also have to divorce themselves from the state association that they represent.
“I don’t see how the BCCI will agree with this. You have so many who are over the 70-years age criteria or those who have long completed nine years… You also have certain states whose representatives are ministers,” said another top official.
The other contentious recommendation that hasn’t gone down too well with the board is the “one-state, one-vote” proposal, which means that states like Maharashtra and Gujarat which have three associations within their purview will have only one representative in the BCCI. The report proposes that the BCCI relegate the additional associations and others like Railways and Services to associate member status, while stripping them of their voting rights.
“One association, one vote is the real bone of contention. I don’t think this can happen. I can’t see members, especially from the west zone, accepting this. See, if this clause is implemented, then the incumbent president (Shashank Manohar represents Vidarbha) might lose his voting rights. And you can’t pick and choose and implement just one part of the report. If you want to accept it, you have to accept the report in full,” Srinivasan told The Indian Express.
The report also calls for all cricketing decisions to be taken by committees headed by former cricketers, and formation of a players’ association, which will have representatives on the apex panel.
It has also suggested that the board president should have no say in selection matters and the zonal selection committee should be replaced with a three-member panel which will have only Test players on board.
According to the report, the IPL should be given limited autonomy by putting in place an IPL governing council, which will have four separate members, including representatives from the franchises who will not be part of the board.
Lodha also spoke about adding professionalism to the management of the board and its “cash-cow”, the IPL, by appointing a CEO and having six professionals work under him. This, the panel said, would add further accountability to the functioning of the board. In a rather revolutionary suggestion in a bid to enhance its transperancy, the panel has approached the legislature with a suggestion to legalise betting in India.