Lodha panel suggests several changes in cricket administration
New Delhi: The Supreme Court appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee on Monday made a host of far-reaching reccommendations for improvement of cricket administration in the country.
The various proposals in the committee’s report to the apex court include 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, bringing the BCCI under the Right to Information (RTI) act, limiting age and tenures for officials, legalisation of betting, uniformity in structure of state associations, and a one-state-one-member (vote) pattern for the BCCI governing body.
The 159-page report by the three-member committee — comprising former Chief Justice Lodha, Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice R.V. Raveendran — former judges of the Supreme court — also suggested changes in the BCCI’s administrative set-up, proposing the introduction of a CEO assisted by a team of six professional managers to handle the day-to-day non-cricketing affairs of the BCCI.
The Lodha panel said the CEO and his managers will be responsible to an apex council that will comprise of nine members — five elected, two representatives of players association, and one woman.
Issues related to the selection, coaching, performance evaluation and umpiring are to be handled by cricket committees manned only by former players.
The panel also suggested limiting the autonomy of the Indian Premier League (IPL), adding that the IPL governing council should be reduced to nine members with the secretary and the treasurer of the BCCI as its ex-officio members and two other members to 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.
The committee said there was lack of evidence against former IPL Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sundar Raman in connection with the 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal.
“There was not enough evidence against Sundar Raman and no knowledge of him knowing Vindoo Dara Singh,” Justice Lodha told reporters here on Monday.
The panel stressed that one representation for one state is a fair idea as was the suggestion that each state will have only one association as 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 — should be relegated to associate status without voting rights in the BCCI, it said.
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 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 the BCCI for formation of players’ association in the 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.