The BCCI Full Members’ meeting in Delhi on Friday is unlikely to throw up a major surprise. The agenda for the meeting is the Lodha reforms in the wake of the Supreme Court-appointed panel’s third status report that has recommended the removal of all cricket board and state associations office-bears who don’t fulfil the Committee-prescribed criteria — upheld by the apex court — for holding their respective offices.
The panel has sought directions from apex court to appoint former Union home secretary GK Pillai as an observer. But odd breakaways apart, the BCCI still has managed to keep its flock together.
So far three state associations — Hyderabad, Vidarbha and Tripura — have decided to adopt the Lodha Committee recommendations in toto. But the rest have objected to clauses like one state, one vote, nine-year cumulative tenure for administrators, cooling period and 70-year age cap. Some affiliates have also expressed reluctance to trim down the selection panel from five members to three. The BCCI earlier had two general body meetings, on October 1 and October 15, where board secretary Ajay Shirke had proposed an absolute implementation of the Lodha panel recommendations. The proposal was seconded by BCCI president Anurag Thakur, but the members disagreed. Both Shirke and Thakur mentioned the sequence of events, along with the draft copies of the minutes, in their respective affidavits before the Lodha Committee.
The meeting on Friday is a little different from a special general body, because only Full Members are invited. But the outcome is unlikely to be different.
“As of now there’s no change in our stand. Our members still oppose certain clauses in the Lodha panel recommendations. If there’s a judicial order, we will abide by that,” Tamil Nadu Cricket Association secretary Kasi Viswanathan told The Indian Express.
The Supreme Court, in its October 21 order has debarred the BCCI from distributing funds to state associations until they comply with the Lodha Committee recommendations. “Every association needs the BCCI funds. At the moment, however, we are managing things from our own coffers. Our state association members so far haven’t agreed to adopt the Lodha Committee recommendations in toto. We will inform that to the BCCI in tomorrow’s meeting,” Viswanathan added.
The CAB joint-secretary Avishek Dalmiya, too, spoke about sticking to their previous stand and even smaller state associations like Orissa, Jharkhand, Kerala and Andhra have refused to budge. “Money is a problem. We have been meeting our day-to-day expenses, players’ payments, from our own funds and I can’t tell you about the future; what will happen if the fund crunch becomes a more serious issue. As of now, there’s no change to our position,” Orissa Cricket Association (OCA) secretary Ashirwad Behera said.
“Our members also didn’t approve a three-member selection panel. We felt we need five,” Jharkhand State Cricket Association secretary Rajesh Verma informed. Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) held its SGM about two weeks back and decided to follow the parent body. “Our decision will be based on how the BCCI goes about it. We will wait and see how things unfold at tomorrow’s meeting and will decide our future course of action accordingly,” KCA president TC Mathew, also a BCCI vice-president, told this paper. Another BCCI vice-president, Andhra Cricket Association secretary G Gangaraju, spoke along the similar lines.
The BCCI will have to submit a compliance report before the apex court by Saturday, while the next hearing is scheduled on December 5. “The report will be based on the proceedings at tomorrow’s meeting,” said a BCCI official, claiming that the decisions taken by the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) and Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) to adopt the Lodha panel recommendations in toto still lack finality.