Justice (retd) RM Lodha has criticised former Indian cricket board officials for what he saw as attempts to disrupt the India versus England limited-overs series. Without naming anyone, he called it “misadventures”.
Justice Lodha was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Dr Dharmendra Bhandari’s book on eminent jurist, the late Nani Palkhivala.
The BCCI’s stubborn stand against implementing the administrative reforms ordered by the Supreme Court fell flat on January 2 when the apex court axed its president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke.
The directive came after the BCCI had resisted for more than six months since the Supreme Court accepted majority of the Lodha recommendations. “I think it’s better late than never. So, of course there is a delay of six months but I think that will be repaired,” said Justice Lodha.
He said there would be a new set of deadlines, but they’ll be put in place by the new administrators. “We don’t have that much time. There must a layer of administrators in between who would do so. Then we’ll see. Wait for a while now.”
Asked what he felt about associations not following the timelines laid down, he said: “Just wait for January 19th. I believe as soon as administrators are appointed by the Supreme Court and they take over, things would, I think move fast. The timelines are not relevant now. They have gone haywire.” He added he’ll act as a supervisor and guide for the new administrators.
Lodha backed the cooling period for officials. “It’s not about the attractiveness of the post. You do your best and then leave it for others to come. India is a big country and it’s a big pool of talent we have. So, you can’t stick to a job for decades, decades and decades... There are top people. You give an opportunity and they’ll come up with new ideas. It’s always the infusion of new blood that actually brings new thinking, new thought process, new ideas, etc.”
There have been quite a few changes in state associations since the Supreme Court upheld the Lodha recommendations. A number of office-bearers have stepped down and there have been fresh appointments as well. “It wouldn’t be right to comment right now. We’ve received a number of complaints and we’ll look into all the appointments.”
Asked if the situation could have been handled better, he said: “We had discussed these with almost every office-bearer starting from Jagmohan Dalmiya, Anirudh Chaudhary, Anurag, who was the secretary then, the vice-presidents, six national captains —Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev and Bishan Singh Bedi.”