WITH THE Supreme Court approving the draft constitution with a few tweaks on Thursday, the BCCI and its member associations are set for a major revamp over the next few months. But the Indian board has got its way when it comes to some of its major contentions with the Lodha recommendations. Here we look at those in detail, comparing the recommendations with the final verdict and the bearing they’ll have on cricket administration in India.
One State, One Vote
What the Lodha recommendations said: “Each state shall be represented by a state cricket association duly recognised by the BCCI and such associations shall be Full Members. No state shall have more than one Full Member at any given point of time. In states with multiple Existing Members, the full membership shall rotate annually among such Existing Members such that only one of them will exercise the rights and privileges of a Full Member at any given point of time. “
“The rotation shall be as per the policy framed by the BCCI. Though Gujarat fielded three cricket teams (Gujarat, Saurashtra and Baroda) and so did Maharashtra (Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidarbha), both states would each have one Full membership.”
What the draft constitution says: “We are of the view that it is necessary to restore full membership in the constitution of the BCCI to the three associations each in the State of Maharashtra (Maharashtra, Mumbai and Vidarbha) and in Gujarat (Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra)…..These associations have a long and abiding history of nurturing talent for the game of cricket in India. The history of cricket in India is replete with their contribution to the cause of cricket. These associations have produced players who have brought laurels to their states and to the nation.”
“The principle of territoriality requires that each of the States and Union Territories should have full membership of BCCI in terms as suggested in clause 3(a)(ii-B). This becomes a principle of inclusion. To utilise territoriality as a basis of exclusion is problematic because it ignores history and the contributions made by the above associations to the development of cricket and its popularity.”
What does it mean: The BCCI has got its way on the most contentious aspect of the Lodha reforms, which has been discussed anddissected several times by the board, the “one state, one vote” issue with the Supreme Court ensuring status quo on the matter.
It means the likes of Mumbai, Baroda, Saurashtra and Vidarbha, traditional powerhouses, will remain full members while the BCCI will have a number of new state associations on board with voting rights.
Railways, Universities, Services stay on board
What the Lodha recommendations said: “Railways, Services and Universities not being tied to the territory of one state were denied full membership.”
What the draft constitution says: “A representative from the Indian Railways shall be entitled to vote at meetings of the General Body of the BCCI. However, such representative shall be a former cricketer from the Indian Railways who is elected by an association of former players from the Indian Railways. Having regard to the pre-eminent position occupied by the Services including the Army, Navy and Air Force in propagating the cause of sports and cricket, we are of the view that the same principle which we have followed in the case of Railways should be followed in their case. “
“Similarly, the Universities are a nucleus for encouraging the game of cricket among players of the college going generation in the country. We would therefore also grant full membership to the Association of Indian Universities.”
What does it mean: By adding the disclaimer that the representative from both the Railways and Services should be a former player, elected by an association of other players, the Supreme Court has tried to prevent the likelihood of there being any governmental interference, which was the Lodha panel’s main reason to strip the Railways and Services of their full membership.
Cooling-off period for office-bearers
What the Lodha recommendations said: “(i) the tenure of each term for office bearers of the BCCI and state associations should be three years; (ii) a maximum of three terms should be allowed regardless of the post held; and (iii) there should be a mandatory ‘cooling off period’ after each term.”
What the draft constitution says: “(i) The term for all posts of office bearers in BCCI and in state associations shall be three years; (ii) No person shall hold the position of an office bearer in any state association, regardless of post, for a period in excess of nine years in the aggregate; (iii) No person shall hold the post of office bearer in BCCI, regardless of post, for a period in excess of nine years in the aggregate; (iv) There shall be a cooling off period of three years after an individual has held the post of an office bearer for two consecutive terms either in a state association or in the BCCI or a combination of both.”
What does it mean? The BCCI top brass will witness a complete overhaul when elections take place eventually with all the present office-bearers from Anirudh Chaudhry and Amitabh Choudhary to Rajeev Shukla and even ousted former president Anurag Thakur ineligible to contest, considering they’ve already finished nine years cumulatively either in office at the BCCI or with their respective state associations.