The Supreme Court came down hard on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday, saying the sport’s governing body has done nothing for the development of sport in the country, instead functioning as a self-serving body looking only to further its own interests.
The BCCI’s lawyers were in court on Tuesday arguing against the recommendations made by the Lodha Committee in January. To this, the court slammed the BCCI, saying, “Please don’t say you cannot implement the recommendations of the Lodha Committee.”
It then blasted the BCCI for its fund allocation policy, accusing it of favouritism and nepotism when it came to disbursing money. “Eleven states have received no funds at all. Why should these states go penniless? Why is Gujarat getting Rs 66 crore while states from the Northeast get just Rs 50 lakh? The impression one gets is that once BCCI gives money to state boards without any rationale for spending, they in way corrupt them,” the court said, adding that it appears the body disburses money looking only at people’s faces in the respective cricket boards.
The Lodha Committee had recommended wide-ranging sweeping reforms in the BCCI, including having only one vote per state, age cap of officials, no simultaneous posts in state and national bodies, along with restrictions on advertisements in televised cricket matches. However, the BCCI members strongly opposed several of these measures, moving court against them. “The BCCI members authorised the honorary secretary to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court pointing out the anomalies and difficulties encountered in the implementation of these recommendations,” the BCCI had said.
The Saurashtra Cricket Association was hit badly by two of the panel’s recommendations — losing voting rights due to the One State One Vote policy, and also because its president Niranjan Shah would have to quit if an age-cap of 70 is imposed. The One State One Vote policy also faced opposition from Indian cricket’s other traditional powerhouses, like Mumbai and Baroda, among others. - With agency inputs