BCCI to move SC against Lodha panel recommendations (Roundup)

Mumbai, Feb 19 (IANS) The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to approach the Supreme Court against the recommendations in the report submitted by the Justice R.M. Lodha committee.

The BCCI had convened a special general meeting at its headquarters here on Friday in which the members authorised secretary Anurag Thakur to file an affidavit in the apex court on the board’s behalf, pointing out the anomalies and difficulties encountered in the implementation of the Lodha committee’s recommendations.

The working committee members also authorised Thakur and BCCI president Shashank Manohar to discuss the governance and financial restructuring of the International Cricket Council (ICC) subject to such restructuring being incorporated in the constitution of the ICC for permanency.

The move is aimed at ending the monopoly of India, Australia and England in the ICC, which has been one of the stated aims of the BCCI chief.

The BCCI also decided to rework the Future Tours Programme (FTP) for the period 2016 to 2023 in order to ensure equitable distribution of matches.

The BCCI members also approved the recommendation of the board’s affiliation committee to grant full member status to the Chhattisgarh association. Chhattisgarh will be a part of the central zone for all domestic tournaments.

“We are happy that BCCI has awarded us full membership status and we can now play in the Ranji Trophy. The talented boys who are in our state are eager to perform well in the competition and aim for a place in the national side soon,” Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh president Baldev Singh Bhatia told reporters here on Friday.

“I thank BCCI for this and I am sure cricket in Chhattisgarh from now on will make the country proud,” he added.

The Lodha committee was set up by the Supreme Court to clean up cricket administration in the country after a corruption and match-fixing scandal hit the Indian Premier League (IPL), leading to two-year suspensions of three-time champions Chennai Super Kings and inaugural edition winners Rajasthan Royals.

The three-member Lodha panel has put forward several recommendations to the Supreme Court which, if implemented, could have far reaching effects on cricket administration in India.

Among the recommendations are limitation of tenure for office-bearers of the BCCI and state associations, prescription to limit their age to 70 years, one state-one vote (set to directly affect the associations within the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat) and barring of ministers and government officials from becoming office-bearers.

Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) secretary Niranjan Shah, who was present at the meeting, said the SCA will be filing an affidavit in the Supreme Court, since the limitation of tenure, one state-one vote and the recommendation of age-cap of 70 might force him to quit if they come into effect.

“We will be filing an affidavit in Supreme Court,” Shah said after the meeting.

The BCCI had earlier advised the various state associations to take stock of the situation and discuss the implications of the recommendations made by the Lodha committee.

“As some of the recommendations have far reaching consequences, it may be advisable to seek an expert opinion as to how the same would affect your association,” Thakur had written in his communication to the BCCI’s affiliates.

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had decided to reject 10 of the 21 Lodha panel recommendations a few days ago and the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) has also refused to implement them.

Meanwhile, the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) led by secretary Mrityunjay Tiwary was allowed to participate in the working committee meeting on Friday.

“On behalf of BCA, I say that I am happy that we were allowed to participate in the working committee meeting and for that I thank the BCCI president Shashank Manohar and others. I hope this relationship will continue further,” Tiwary said.

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