oppn parties Supreme Court, BCCI Tug of War to End Soon

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Supreme Court, BCCI Tug of War to End Soon

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2016-10-18 12:01:22

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Although the Supreme Court has postponed making an order against the BCCI, the top brass of the body should not treat this as a relief. They have been trying all the tricks in the book to avoid implementing the earlier order and the court will not allow that. First, the BCCI, in complete violation of Lodha committee’s fiat, transferred huge amounts to state associations. Then, when the Lodha committee wrote to their bankers to block the same, the BCCI tried to project it as if the committee had frozen their bank accounts. It immediately put out that no cricket could be played as it did not have access to funds required to conduct matches. It even threatened to terminate the ongoing tour of the New Zealand team. In doing this, it wanted to gain public sympathy and was banking for the court to change its mind if a public outcry happened. Then, it took the plea that any amendment to its constitution needed approval by 2/3 of voting members and since the members were not ready for the change, it could not implement the committee’s recommendations. But in doing all this, the BCCI mandarins are not realizing that after the court order, Lodha committee recommendations are now part of the order and will have to be implemented.

The BCCI has also tried the trick of picking and choosing among the recommendations of the Lodha committee. This again will not do. The recommendations were a package designed to do away with the unseemly way in which the BCCI was running its affairs. The issues which the BCCI is trying to avoid – retirement age, cooling off period, reducing the number of selectors, among others – are central to the course correction envisaged by the Supreme Court. They will go a long way in preventing the hegemony of a single person, or a group of persons, over the affairs of the body for long periods, which makes the ground fertile for nepotism, corruption and power broking. They will also ensure that the body has access to fresh talent and newer ways of thinking every three years. The BCCI’s intransigence in the matter only goes to show that some people are benefitting hugely and they do not want modern best practices in sports management to be introduced.

But since the matter has been hanging fire for a long time and since attitudes have hardened on both sides, the BCCI has been left with no escape route. While the Supreme Court has said that it will go explore all avenues, one thing is certain – the BCCI cannot, and should not, remain a closed club with no accountability towards various stakeholders, including the paying public. More goes on behind the scenes than what actually happens in the open meetings. Often, one gets the feeling that BCCI meetings are more like the mafia meetings out of some gangster novel. It is this gangland feeling that has to be finished, once and for all. The body that rakes in billions and selects the Indian team needs to work as any other democratic body whose office bearers are elected without groupism and threats or lure of funds or holding of international matches on their grounds. It should be a body representing all Indian states who have equal voting rights. All this can only be achieved if the Lodha committee recommendations are implemented. If the BCCI cannot see the writing on the wall, the Supreme Court will make sure they do.