What led to the feud between BCCI and the Supreme Court?
- The face-off between the BCCI and the Supreme Court began in 2013 with the IPL spot-fixing scandal that rocked Indian cricket.
- Three Rajasthan Royals players were arrested on spot-fixing charges revealing a deep nexus between franchise members, players and bookies. A follow-up probe led to the arrest of Gurunath Meiyappan, team principal of Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
- The Mudgal Committee, which was appointed to investigate the spot-fixing case founded that IPL chief operating officer, Meiyappan and Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra were guilty of betting. The Committee’s report pointed fingers at BCCI chief N. Srinivasan as well.
- In January 2015, the apex court appointed a panel headed by retired justice R.M. Lodha to suggest reforms for BCCI as well as determine punishments for those guilty in the IPL spot-fixing case.
- Justice Lodha panel suspends CSK and Rajasthan Royals for two years and hands a lifetime ban to their owners.
What are the recommendations made by the Lodha panel?
The following are the recommendations of the Lodha panel, which aims to bring more credibility and transparency in the world’s richest cricket board:
- One association of each state will be a full member and will have the right to vote.
- It recommended separating the governing bodies of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and BCCI. It also proposed restricting the powers of the IPL Governing Council.
- The panel stated that BCCI office bearers must not be ministers or government servants and that they must have not held office in the BCCI for a period of nine years or three terms. No BCCI office-bearer can have more than two consecutive terms.
- Office-bearers in BCCI should not be beyond the age of 70 years.
- The panel also recommended legalisation of betting with an inbuilt mechanism.
- The report also proposed the constitution and establishment of a players association.
- For the sake of transparency BCCI has to upload all its rules and other details on the official website.
- The panel stated that an Ethics Officer will decide on conflict of interest.
- The panel suggested that the BCCI should come under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
- According to the panel, cricketing matters of the BCCI should be handled by former players while non-cricketing matters would be handled by CEO along with six assistant managers and two committees.
What has been the consequences of not accepting the recommendations of the Lodha Panel?
On 28 September, the court had given the BCCI an ultimatum to adhere to the Lodha panel’s recommendations for the overhaul of Indian cricket. But BCCI had rejected key recommendations of the Lodha Committee, like one-state one-vote, a maximum age limit of 70 years and a cooling-off period of three years. The Supreme Court was adamant that the recommendations be adhered in ditto and no modifications be entertained. As a result of the non-adherence by the Board, the following consequences were faced by BCCI:
- Lodha panel asked the banks to stop disbursing money from BCCI accounts to state associations, which had put India-New Zealand test match in Indore at risk. The panel later changed its stance and clarified that banks will release funds for daily operations.
- The SC ordered the removal of Anurag Thakur from the post of BCCI President for not complying with court orders. The apex court also removed Ajay Shirke from the post of BCCI Secretary.
- The BCCI has decided to indefinitely defer the auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights as it has not received the go-ahead from the Justice Lodha committee.
The most powerful cricketing body in the world is finally getting a huge re-moulding in it’s structure and way of operations. It shall bring in more transparency to the system and also led to lesser corruption in the richest body of Cricket in the world.
All of this should surely make any cricketing fan happy !
(If you found this post useful, then please leave your suggestions in the comments section. For more insights, please subscribe to my blog)