The much-awaited report of Justice Lodha panel to the Supreme Court on Monday has suggested major reform of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The proposal include legalizing betting, putting up conditions for becoming a BCCI office-bearer, and appointment of a full time Chief Executive officer of the cricket body for better management and governance. .The Panel wants the BCCI to come under Right to Information ACT for greater transparency even though BCCI comes under Society Act and receives no financial l assistance from the government. In view o the panel, the BCCI is public body.
The panel has given clean chit to former IPL Chief Operating Officer Sundar Raman, saying there was no evidence to substantiate charges of corruption against him.
“We had to ensure autonomy of BCCI was not affected. Ailments needed cure, but needed to ensure good bacteria in the body wasn’t lost,” said Justice Lodha.
The panel also proposed separate governing bodies for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Indian Premier League (IPL) in a bid to partially segregate their functioning, while also suggesting a one-state-one-member pattern for the board.
The three-member committee comprising its former Chief Justice, Justice Lodha, as also Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice R.V. Raveendran – former judges of the apex court – suggested sweeping reforms in the Indian cricket board and announced a slew of measures, among them that the IPL governing body should be of nine members with the secretary and the treasurer of the BCCI as its ex-officio members.
Two other members of the IPL governing council will be nominated or elected by the full members. Of the remaining five, two will be the nominees of franchises, one will be a representative of the players association (that is to be formed) and one will a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Among other key recommendations, the panel stressed that one representation for one state is a fair idea and one association of each state will be a full member of the BCCI and have a right to vote. Other members from a state, or those without territory or competitive presence – Services, Railways, CCI, NCC – were relegated to associate status without voting rights in the BCCI.
The Lodha panel also recommended the appointment of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to manage the day-to-day affairs of the BCCI. The CEO will be assisted by six professional managers. The Lodha panel said the CEO and his managers will be responsible to an apex council that will be comprised of nine members – five elected, two representatives of players association, and one woman.
The Lodha committee has also sought to put some restrictions on the BCCI office-bearers: they should not be aged more than 70, should not be ministers or government servants – and cannot hold office for more than three terms, with a “cooling-off” period between terms.
Lodha reckoned that a robust agent registration system would safeguard players. There will be a steering committee to include former star all-rounder Mohinder Amarnath, former India women’s captain Diana Eduljee, and legendary leg-spinner and former Test skipper Anil Kumble. They will take up matter with BCCI for formation of players’ association in light of suggestions from the report.
Lodha said the panel prepared an extensive questionnaire and interviewed several BCCI office bearers, stakeholders in Indian cricket, former national captains, including Bishan Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Kumble to finalise its report.
Here are some major recommendations of the panel:
Players and match officials must disclose their assets.
Legalize betting. Incidentally, Lodha Panel had suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years for indulging in betting.
A player with maximum test representation must head the selection committee and there should be search committee for spotting talented players.
Cricket player should take decision on cricketing matters while CEO and a team of six professional managers and two committees can decide non-cricket matters.
Maximum three terms for an office-bearer. A state office-bearer cannot be part of the BCCI.
A minister or government servant cannot be office-bearers of the BCCI. The age limit for office bearers will be 70.
Ethics Committee will decide on the issue of conflict of interest.
BCCI should have ombudsman, ethics and electoral officer. It says former Home Secretary G K Pillai will head the committee for players’ association.
Set up players’ association, suggest that Mohinder Amarnath, Diana Eduljee and Anil Kumble to be part of a steering committee to deal with BCCI, Limited autonomy for IPL governing council.
Set up an apex council with nine members to run IPL. Five of them should be elected office bearers like president and , secretary.