Lodha panel’s recommendations seem to be aimed at weakening the organisation, Anurag Thakur tells SC
BCCI president Anurag Thakur has said “great chaos” will ensue if the Supreme Court implements the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee’s recommendation to remove the top bosses of the Board and State cricket associations.
In an affidavit before the Supreme Court, Mr. Thakur said “the removal of democratically-elected office bearers of the BCCI or State cricket associations will not result in any benefit to the game and shall instead paralyse the administration.” Their removal would directly impact the BCCI among organisations like the International Cricket Council. Lodha panel’s recommendations seemed to aim at making BCCI a “weak organisation,” he alleged.
Mr. Thakur said the Lodha Committee’s suggestion to the Supreme Court to appoint former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai as auditor was an attempt to shift responsibility to a third party. “Lodha Committee cannot shift the responsibility of overseeing the affairs of the BCCI to another third party who does not have any expertise of running cricket in India and has no established administrative credentials in this field,” the BCCI president contended.
The affidavit was in response to the Committee’s third report that the Supreme Court should remove office-bearers over the age of 70, Ministers and those who had already served at the Board’s helm for nine years.
Hurting BCCI image
Piling blame on the Committee, Mr. Thakur said it did not want to interact with the BCCI or its office-bearers to understand the complexities of Indian cricket administration. This had “tremendously hurt Indian cricket and the goodwill and image of the BCCI.” Lack of response from the Lodha Committee had even led to the cancellation of the IPL Tender opening scheduled for October 25, 2016, he claimed.
‘Bad for the game’
Mr. Thakur said he was, however, in no position to “force” the State members to adopt the full memorandum of the Lodha Committee. Some of the BCCI members, he said, were of the view that a few of the Lodha recommendations would be a “huge setback to the game in India and destroy it completely.”
On September 21, a Supreme Court Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur had prima facie concluded that the BCCI’s top administrators were an impediment to Justice R.M. Lodha Committee’s efforts to reform cricket.
The court had, however, given the BCCI an additional opportunity to prove its bona fide.
On July 18, the Supreme Court upheld almost all of the Committee’s recommendations. It chided the cricket administrators, asking them to shed their ego.