The two-judge Supreme Court bench of Justices SA Bobde and AM Sapre will meet on Thursday to take up the longstanding Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) case. The apex court had, on 17 January, deferred the hearing after the amicus curiae, Gopal Subramanium, stepped down. Senior advocate PS Narasimha has since been appointed his replacement.
Among the host of issues likely to be brought up on Thursday, the most important one is the status report submitted by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in October 2018. The report recommended stripping the non-compliant member associations of their voting rights. Certain reforms were progressively amended since 18 July, 2016 — when the Supreme Court first approved the Lodha Committee recommendations — but so far, no state association has implemented the reforms in toto.
The most contentious reforms that the state associations have objected to are the proposed cooling-off period and the disqualification criteria.
The CoA's status report has recommended that BCCI conduct elections within 90 days from court's ruling, besides requesting the SC to approve a timeline for elections. BCCI has not conducted polls as that requires the member associations and the body itself to fully comply with the new Constitution, which would mean unconditional acceptance to all proposed reforms.
Over the years, the SC-appointed CoA trimmed itself from four members to two, and the existing members — Diana Edulji and Vinod Rai — have sparred on almost all important issues of late.
According to reports, keeping in mind the differences within the CoA, the court may consider adding two new members which would allow it to reach a consensus.
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Based on those matches till March, the final positions on the points table could be computed based on the percentage of points the teams have won from the matches that they've contested.
India are keen on a reduced quarantine and wants the players to be allowed to train in a bio-secure bubble instead of being restricted to a hotel room, which, the BCCI fears, can take a toll on the fitness of its players.
PCB chief Wasim Khan then clarified that it's only fair that there is a time-frame for such a deadline, which they've set for January 2021.