The Supreme Court’s ruling on the recommendations by the Justice RM Lodha committee has demolished the BCCI’s argument that the International Cricket Council may suspend it if the changes were accepted.
The court accepted most of the recommendations by the Lodha panel on Monday while giving BCCI six months to take the changes on board to clean up the richest cricket body in the world.
One of the important administrative changes put forth by the Lodha committee was replacing the powerful working committee with a nine-member apex body. In that, five would be elected office-bearers of the BCCI and among the other four, one would be a representative from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s office.
The board had argued in the Supreme Court that incorporating a C & AG official would attract action from the International Cricket Council as it would be deemed to be intereference in the BCCI’s functioning.
However, this argument holds no water as C&AG is a constitutional body which has right to conduct a performance audit on revenue allocations relating to the Centre, the states and the union territories.
The BCCI had cited Article 2.9(B) of the ICC Rules which defines government interference in the administration of cricket by a member and consequences in this regard. The ICC rule reads: “Where a government interferes in the administration of cricket by a Member, including but not limited to interference in operational matters, the selection and management of teams, the appointment of coaches or support personnel or the activities of a Member, the Executive Board shall have the power to suspend or refuse to recognise that Member, subject to the provisions of Article 2.7.”
While rejecting the board’s contention, the court had said: “The ICC would in our opinion appreciate any such step for the same would prevent misgivings about the working of the BCCI, especially in relation to management of its funds, and bring transparency and objectivity necessary to inspire public confidence in the fairness and the effective management of the affairs of the BCCI and the State Association,” Chief Justice TS Thakur had written in the 143-page order on behalf of the two-judge bench.
The court observed that nominees recommended by the committee would act as conscience-keepers of the state associations and the BCCI in financial matters that would in no way adversely impact the performance or working of the board for the promotion and development of cricket.