With Chief Justice TS Thakur making it clear the Supreme Court means business, BCCI members will sit down on Friday with all seriousness to consider the implementation of the new Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations, recommended by the Justice RM Lodha panel.
BCCI’s usual air of confidence was on display even a week ago when at its AGM, in defiance of the Lodha panel’s recommendations, appointed a senior selection committee which includes two with no Test experience.
However, Saturday’s Emergent Special General Meeting is expected to be subdued. It will have one agenda: of taking a consensus among the state associations on the adoption of the new reforms. Following Supreme Court’s hard talk on Wednesday, most of the members see no option but to adhere to the reforms. However, they are curious about what plan the BCCI’s leadership presents.
There are three options in front of the BCCI: to accept all the changes in constitution, or to vote against it and brazen it out on the next hearing on October 6, or to request the Supreme Court of its willingness to make the constitutional changes with a few amendments. The bench has given BCCI time till October 6 to file its reply to the Lodha panel’s status report, which has recommended structural reforms in the Board.
Reaching a consensus will be a challenge for BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke. Most state associations have some issues or the other in implementing the recommendations. The units most affected are the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, owing to the one state, one vote policy.
Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidarbha will have one vote among them as will Baroda, Gujarat and Saurashtra.
Why would the units from South or North be concerned with the West Zone’s problem? In fact, there’s no consensus even among the West Zone members. While BCCI will be having their meeting, Vidarbha will be holding their own Special General Meeting to vote for going ahead with the implementation of the reforms.
As a South Zone official remarked: “The one state, one vote change is not affecting us. Anyway, there’s not much that can be done except follow the Court ruling. Whatever is recommended, and depending on the decision taken in the SGM we are prepared to implement.”
The rule which is affecting all the state associations is the term of nine years with a cooling-off period after three. If it is adopted, 16 of the 19 Vidarbha members will be out. In Tamil Nadu, 95% of the current office bearers will be disqualified, including president N Srinivasan (who is also above the age restriction of 70 years).
Hence, in the SGM, the members could decide to convey to the Supreme Court on October 6 that they are prepared to make amendments with this exception.
It is learnt that in the SGM, the BCCI is not going to review the transactions conducted and appointments made in their Annual General Meeting. There’s no provision for doing it in the SGM.
The BCCI will be also be finalising their point-by-point reply to the status report to come up with strong arguments on the October 6 hearing.
It remains to be seen if Shirke will offer to resign following the Court’s declaration that any new appointment carried out during the AGM will be quashed. Shrike was elected secretary unopposed on September 21.