BCCI vs Justice Lodha Committee: All you need to know

It looks like the never-ending war between the Lodha Panel and richest cricket board in the world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It all began in 2013, when certain cricketers were allegedly involved in spot-fixing in few matches of the Indian Premiere League (IPL). Ever since the spot-fixing scandal broke out during the sixth edition of IPL, Indian cricket kept hitting new lows. The issue kept getting murkier and things went out of the hands of BCCI leading to developments that forced the Supreme Court to intervene.

Hence, the Lodha committee was formed in 2015. The Supreme Court elected Lodha Panel laid down few recommendations for BCCI to implement it over a period of time so as to bring transparency in the working system of the BCCI.

The reason why BCCI and Lodha committee are at loggerheads is because of some of the recommendations made by Lodha Panel are not welcomed by the Indian cricket board. Though Supreme Court has asked BCCI to implement the recommendations but it seems like currently BCCI is not in a mood to implement it on immediate basis. One of the Lodha’s recommendations was to separate governing bodies for BCCI and IPL and also suggest one-state-one member pattern.

However Lodha suggest that BCCI should come under Right to Information (RTI) act. Three member SC bench had repeatedly slammed BCCI for not including Controller and Auditor General (CAG). However bringing BCCI under RTI act will need ratification from the parliament. Another panel suggests removing advertisements between the over just because there are too many. BCCI is the worlds’ richest cricket body majorly because of the revenue it generates through broadcasts, sponsors and more importantly from the advertisers.

During the hearings, the court had acknowledged BCCI’s myriad steps to ensure transparency in governance. The board, under former President Shashank Manohar, appointed an Ombudsman to resolve conflict of interest issues and also appointed CEO Rahul Johri, for the first time in the board’s history.

The Supreme Court upheld the panel’s recommendation to introduce an age cap for BCCI office bearers. According to the proposal, no member is allowed to continue as a board member beyond the age of 70. The Supreme Court also recommended that, no minister or bureaucrats would be allowed to serve the BCCI board.

BCCI unanimously adopted the important recommendations made by the Lodha Committee at its Special General meeting. However it did not include key recommendations such as the ‘Age cap of 70 years’, N. Srinivasan who heads the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), MCA president Sharad Pawar and Saurashtra Cricket Association’s Niranjan Shah are some of the biggest names to be hit hard by the verdict. ‘The tenure cap of nine years’, and ‘one-state-one-vote policy’ will impact more to Gujarat and Maharashtra who has multiple cricket associations like Maharashtra Cricket Association, Vidarbha, Baroda and Saurashtra. If recommendations are implemented, the entire state will have just one vote. Former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have questioned the recommendations with one state, one policy and restricted tenures for officials.

However, the Supreme Court on October 7 has barred BCCI from releasing funds to the 12 state associations until they comply with the organisational reforms recommended by Justice Lodha Committee.

The issue is still in sub-judice and the next hearing has been scheduled for October 17.

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