BCCI vs Lodha: All eyes on SC as administrators for crucial transition phase to be announced

All eyes are on the Supreme Court which is expected to name administrators to BCCI on Friday afternoon. This new group of administrators is supposed to ensure that the cricket body and all its affiliated units become Lodha Committee-compliant.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The committee of administrators is expected to be chosen from the list submitted by senior counsel and Amicus Curiae, Gopal Subramaniam and 86-year-old veteran senior counsel Anil B Divan, who were handpicked for the task by the Supreme Court. The Court had named Fali S Nariman initially, but after he recused himself, Divan was chosen in his place.

The chosen administrators will be running the game till BCCI and the state units are re-organised and armed with a new constitution which, in turn, would pave the way for election of a new set of office-bearers. The court is also expected to spell out time frames to oversee the changes that would ensure a democratic set of norms are followed.

Of course, these norms would have to fall within the ambit of the Lodha Committee report.

The Lodha Committee seeks to ensure that the state units and the BCCI are run by a professional CEO who would have hired hands to assist him. He would be part of an Apex Council, where the president and secretary would largely be ornamental. The Apex Council, run by a majority vote, would set policies and guidance and the CEO would be expected to execute it.

Apart from the CEO, president, secretary, vice-president and treasurer, the Apex council would also have a players’ representative and a representative of CAG. These seven will oversee the running of BCCI and with it Indian cricket.

A similar exercise would have to be performed with state units, and the 30-odd state units would each have a CEO to run their affairs.

The Supreme Court chosen committee will also have to identify members of the IPL Governing Council who will have to run the Indian Premier League. This year’s event is slated to be held this April-May and the council, as soon as it is formed, will have to hit the ground running. This includes player auction, fixtures, contracts, agreements, tie-ups, and so on, for this year. The time available is extremely short and it would be feather in the cap of the previous BCCI and the SC committee if they successfully pull it off.

The praise for the previous BCCI leadership would also be for the system they have put in place which has already ensured that the Tests and ODIs against England have gone through smoothly. This includes the Ranji Trophy and other domestic tournaments as well.

Meanwhile, IPL’s next tranche of decade-long agreements are also due for renegotiation and signing. It is as yet unclear if the ad hoc committee or the to-be elected BCCI members would deal with these. It is possible that the court would spell out dates for these or even suggest a different set of deadlines to work with.

As it stands, the ruling limiting office-bearers to three years in a state unit followed by a compulsory three-year cooling off is difficult to comprehend. If the state office-bearer is not allowed to go to the BCCI after his three-year term, where would the re-vamped BCCI get its first set of office-bearers from?

There are a few other ponderables and it is possible that many of the issues may become clearer post the Supreme Court decision.

For now, many of the names expected to be in the Committee of administrators are in the realm of speculation. Ex-cricketer Mohinder Amarnath’s name is doing the rounds although he has little or no experience in administration. Amarnath was the chairman of the national selection committee and left it mid-way.

Other names include former Union Home secretary GK Pillai and Justice Mukul Mudgal. One media report mentions Justice L Nageswara Rao, who was part of Mudgal’s IPL probe committee. Since then he has been elevated to sitting Supreme Court judge and may not be in a position to be involved.

However, all affected parties, BCCI, state units, their erstwhile administrators, cricket aficionados, other sports’ associations, office-bearers and fans would be keenly watching how this pans out.

To state that Indian cricket is at a crossroad would be an understatement.

Published Date: Jan 20, 2017 12:05 PM | Updated Date: Jan 20, 2017 14:16 PM

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