In what comes as a shocking revelation for Indian cricket, a member of the Lodha Panel committee has accused the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) of ignoring malicious practices among its selectors, including forcing "mothers of aspiring cricketers to sleep with them to get their wards selected in the team."
According to a report on The Indian Express, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke however, has slammed the allegations, calling them "preposterous", and that nobody in the cash-rich board had ever heard of incidents of such nature taking place.
Secretary to the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel Gopal Sankaranarayanan reportedly made the accusations during their meeting with the BCCI on 9 August, in which Shirke filled in for board president Anurag Thakur. Sankararanarayan is understood to have shot off a mail to Thakur for the same.
“He further made it appear as if this was a practice widely prevalent amongst cricket selectors and that the BCCI had not done anything in this regard. It was utterly wrong on the part of Mr. Gopal Shankarnarayanan to paint all selectors as depraved and despicable human beings in this manner and then to allege that BCCI did not take any action against its selectors," Shirke was quoted as saying in the report.
"I also stated that making such statements about selectors appointed by the BCCI and its state associations was totally uncalled for on the part of Mr Gopal Shankarnarayanan specially when no such complaint was ever received by the BCCI and nor did Mr. Shankarnarayanan produce any such complaint," added Shirke in the report.
The Lodha Panel, which had investigated the 2013 IPL spot-fixing controversy and subsequently had franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals suspended, had earlier set a list of recommendations for the board to follow, with the apex court giving its green signal for most of the pointers to be implemented.
In a recent development, the panel categorically instructed the BCCI to implement its 15-step reforms, which covered issues ranging from awarding contracts to lucrative TV rights, by 15 October, at least seven of which should be done by 30 September. The BCCI however, has moved to the Supreme Court to persuade the latter to review its 18 July verdict that accepted most of the panel's recommendations.