In applying the broom to the Indian cricket, the Lodha Committee has made some structural changes to the way the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) functions. In many ways, the BCCI won’t be the same anymore, if the recommendations are enforced. We look at the specific ways in which the functioning of the board will be fundamentally altered. Sriram Veera explains.
One Zone – One Member – One Vote
This will clean out the undemocratic irregularities that have been used to manipulate voting patterns and election process within the BCCI. As things stand today the BCCI has 30 full members, some of which don’t field teams, while others represent any territory. Only 20 states and one union territory, Delhi, are included and ten states and six union territories are excluded. However, Maharashtra and Gujarat have three full members, with voting rights. The committee has proposed that states will be restricted to just one member, though they can continue to field different teams as in the past. For example, BCCI can nominate one association from Maharashtra (Mumbai, Vidarbha and Maharashtra are its three different associations, currently) and Gujarat (Baroda, Gujarat and Saurashtra).
WATCH: Lodha Panel Proposes Sweeping Reforms For BCCI (App users click here)
In other words, they will get one vote apiece. However, they can continue to field different Ranji Trophy teams and so, Thus the history and legacy of cricket teams, and its loyal fan bases, has been protected and yet, the committee has managed to correct the democratic injustice inherent in the system. In addition to the three state associations, Maharashtra has a fourth vote (4 out of 30 votes, in fact) through the Cricket Club of India, a recreational club which doesn’t field a team, being recognised as a Full Member with voting rights. Now, this extra voting arm has been cut off by the board as CCI will be de-linked from membership status.
The inclusive approach to spreading cricket across India
If you have ever wondered why Bihar, one of the most populous states, doesn’t have a Ranji team, relief is around the corner. To spread cricket to the far reaching corners of the country in a more inclusive and democratic manner, the committee has sought to re-address the constitution of the board. More states and union territories will get representation. For example, Bihar, which is not affiliated to the board, will be included and get a Ranji team, and the right to vote. Currently, only Delhi is a full member from the union territories (UT) but the committee has proposed that Puducherry, the only other UT with a chief minister, should be treated as Associate member and be allowed to field a domestic team.
No geographical base, No Votes
Services, Railways and All India Universities — three national service groups – have been treated as Full Members with voting rights thus far. Apart from these, the National Cricket Club at Kolkata also enjoy full membership of the BCCI just like the Cricket Club of India at Mumbai.
They have no geographical base for representation as they don’t represent any territories and their relatively small statures have allowed them to be used as pawns in the voting game. They have been the disembodied voices that have been easily bought. No more, though. The panel has recommended that Services, Railways can continue to field Ranji teams but cannot be deemed as Full Members and cannot have voting rights.
Good bye Affiliates and Future Members
The BCCI has four categories: Full Member, Associate Member, Affiliates, and Future Member. The tenuously titled Future Member consists of Uttarakhand, Mizoram, Telangana, Chandigarh, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar and have been given, to quote the report, “an illusion that it will be promoted at some vague point in the future”. The committee have been recommended that categories of Affiliates and Future Member be removed, and re-juggling of the Full Member and Associate Member lists be done. And that only the Full Member will get a vote.