In the wake of the Supreme Court’s verdict on Monday, all state cricket associations, barring two, will have to comply with the Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations on administrative reforms. The Vidarbha Cricket Association and Tripura Cricket Association had seen the winds of change coming and had shaped up to avoid a confrontation.
But with no option left for the others, the implementation --- however complex and tedious an exercise it may be --- will have to be done, even if it requires constitutional changes.
And, making constitutional changes is not the only concern. The bigger is the “cooling off” period after every term. The implementation of this recommendation will wipe out the current administrators in most associations --- the maximum term of nine years and an age cap of 70 years taking care of it. Not to forget that government servants and ministers too will become ineligible. This may lead to a situation where the new set of office bearers lack experience in cricket administration.
The coming weeks or months will tell whether it will affect the ongoing cricket season, as apart from hosting the series against England and Australia, the Ranji Trophy too is underway.
However, the Lodha panel is confident that the game will not be affected. The reason for their optimism is that the season has been finalised and the Ranji Trophy has reached the final stage. Besides, the dates and venues for matches and appointment of match officials have also been done.
Also, in Ratnakar Shetty and MV Sridhar, the BCCI administration has two seasoned people who have the required experience. Before joining the BCCI, both served as office bearers in their respective cricket associations. Sridhar is also a former cricketer.
IPL COULD BE TRICKY
While international cricket engagements may be sorted, the same cannot be said of the Indian Premier League. The lucrative league will provide a different set of challenges as the preparations for it have already been delayed. The new setup will have to bank on the IMG, who manage the event.
NO OPTION LEFT
Challenges apart, there was unanimity among most cricket administrators that the BCCI was left with no choice after the Apex Court order. Veteran administrators Niranjan Shah (Saurashtra Cricket Association), Kasi Viswanathan (Tamil Nadu Cricket Association) and Gokaraju Ganga Raju (Andhra Cricket Association) said implementing the Lodha reforms was the only way out.
However, Sharad Pawar, who recently resigned from the Mumbai Cricket Association, was upset over his association losing voting rights under the one-state one-vote recommendation. “It is the saddest day for Mumbai cricket. Mumbai cricket has produced so many international stars and done so much for Indian cricket. The decision to keep Mumbai away from voting is painful,” said Pawar.