From here on, cricketers will be important stakeholders in the administration of the Indian cricket board. It is one of the key recommendations of the Lodha Committee, which has been ordered to be implemented by the Supreme Court.
Not only will state associations and the national cricket body have representatives from among players, the Lodha panel has recommended that international players be made automatic members of their state associations.
It will be a game-changer in many associations, as armed with votes players will become a powerful lobby in state elections. The Lodha panel has taken this decision to safeguard the interest of players against powerful administrators. In Saurashtra, till recently Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja were not members of the Saurashtra Cricket Association.
It will impact the power equation in associations like Mumbai Cricket Association, where cricketers have been active in administration but have been dictated by the powerful club lobby. Mumbai has the most number of former internationals.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict, former India cricketers welcomed the decision and said inclusion of players in the cricket body would not only lift the sport but also bring in transparency.
Former India spinner Bishen Singh Bedi said, “These recommendations should have been applied long before. Why would the BCCI need the Supreme Court to intervene to do this? We do not need a sporting body which has politicians or civil servants. What do they have to do with cricket? We need accountability and transparency in the system. It is a landmark day for Indian cricket.
“There is a retirement age for every profession. The BCCI units need young people to run them and bring in professionalism. The BCCI has established itself incredibly well, and it should remain blemish free.”
Expressing delight over the apex court’s verdict, former India player Ashok Malhotra said, “It is the best thing which has happened to Indian cricket. People have been state association chiefs without having any cricket background. Then the legacy is forwarded to their sons. We saw what happened with the Goa Cricket Association officials recently. It was disgusting. When former cricketers are there and willing to be a part of the system, why are such people involved in the sport body?”
Chetan Chauhan, Delhi and District Cricket Association vice-president, said, “They left out the TV advertising cap as that would have taken away all the revenue from cricket. The one-man, one-post clause will be a double-edged sword. If you leave the state association for the BCCI either you have to install a dummy in the state and run by proxy or else those running the state unit won’t let you stay in the BCCI for a long period.”