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State associations told to discuss, seek legal opinion on Lodha recommendations

Lodha panel came up with series of hard-hitting recommendations that promised to comprehensively change the way the BCCI functions.

Written by Devendra Pandey , Shamik Chakrabarty | Mumbai/kolkata | Updated: January 7, 2016 12:39:23 pm
Lodha panel, Lodha committee, Lodha, bcci cricket, cricket bcci, bcci news, india cricket, cricket india, india cricket team, bcci cricket, cricket news, cricket The Supreme Court-appointed committee is headed by Justice (Retd) R M Lodha. (Source: PTI)

Whiplashed by the Lodha committee, the Indian cricket board is slowly stirring into some sort of action. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Anurag Thakur has sent a mail to all state associations to discuss Justice Lodha committee report in their respective managing committee meetings before January 31, 2016 and seek expert opinion on the matter.

“You are aware that the Justice Lodha Committee appointed by the Honourable Supreme Court has submitted its report and we have received a copy of the same. It is advised that you convene a meeting of your Managing Committee/Board before the 31st of January, 2016 and discuss the implications of the recommendations made by the Justice Lodha Committee, as some of the recommendations have far reaching consequences, it may be advisable to seek an expert opinion as to how the same would affect your association,” Thakur writes in email sent to all its association which is accessed by The Indian Express. The email was sent on January 6.

Couple of days ago, Lodha committee came up with series of hard-hitting recommendations that promised to comprehensively change the way the BCCI functions in the future.

The report noted that: “There were consistent view among the respondents to the queries that many of the ills befalling Indian cricket find their roots in the state associations and their lack of administration.”

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The content of Thakur’s is revealing of the board’s functioning is amusing in some ways. Especially, the advice to seek expert opinion has been written out. “It may be advisable to seek an expert opinion as to how the same would affect your association.”

There are some serious conflict of interests questions raised by the committee that can put many important BCCI members, and players, in hot seat. Also, there are several recommendations which will come hard on associations like one vote per state and the restriction of tenure of office-bearers in any capacity to two terms, not exceeding six years. Tenure of president also will be no longer than three years. The committee has also kept age limit to hold any post.

CAB raises red flag

Cricket Association of Bengal treasurer Biswarup Dey expressed certain reservations abou t the recommendations made by the Lodha panel. “As far as recommendations related to the functioning of the BCCI are concerned, I think the Supreme Court’s brief to the Lodha panel was to improve cricket administration, not to overhaul it. But a radical overhaul has been suggested which is not feasible.

“Recommendation like one association, one vote is against the very fabric of the cricket board. Putting an age limit for the office-bearers doesn’t work either. Why will the BCCI accept a clause which is not there in any other sports body in the country? Preventing the ministers and government officials to assume the BCCI office is, in my view, against the basic tenet of our Constitution which says all citizens have equal rights. The Lodha committee report sounds a little utopian and I don’t think the BCCI general body will accept it,” Dey told The Indian Express.

The Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) has called managing committee meeting on January 13 to discuss the Lodha report.

“We have called MCA managing committee next week where we will discuss Lodha report. These are recommendations and if needed we will take legal view on it too,” MCA joint secretary PV Shetty said.

According to a top Indian cricket board official, the deadline of January 31 is too short a time for state associations to study the voluminous report of the Lodha panel and seek legal opinion.

“There are a lot of areas the Lodha panel has gone into in its report. It will take a lot of time for state associations to discuss the report, understand its repercussions and get a legal opinion. In my opinion the state associations will need to be given more time to respond ,” the official said.

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