The much-awaited report of the Justice Lodha Commission, which will be binding on the BCCI as per the Supreme Court verdict last January, will be released on Monday. It will push for drastic administrative reforms not only within the BCCI but cricket administration in India.
The biggest question is whether the commission will make public the remaining names out of the 13 mentioned by the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee which probed the 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal.
Last August, the court had left it to the Lodha Commission to take a decision on the sealed envelope submitted by the Mudgal panel containing names of players allegedly involved in corruption.
The report had identified numbers 1, 11, 12 and 13 as Gurunath Meiyappan, Raj Kundra, Sundar Raman and N Srinivasan respectively.
In its January 22, 2015 verdict, the SC bench of Justice TS Thakur and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla had assigned the Lodha panel to suggest the quantum of punishment against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) and owners Meiyappan and Kundra.
Justice Thakur had inadvertently named three cricketers, Owais Shah, Stuart Binny and Samuel Badree, in the courtroom, while the remaining names are a mystery, especially ‘number three’.
The Lodha Commission, also comprising former Justices Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran, will also announce the fate of former IPL COO, Sundar Raman, and his role, if any, in the spot-fixing scandal. The Mudgal panel found that Raman had called the contact of a bookie several times during a season.
“There is a lot of speculation in the media about the report, and our purpose could be lost in this noise. There were three areas we were interested in and the most important one was to suggest administrative reforms in Indian cricket,” Justice Lodha told HT.
As the SC has already pronounced that judicial review applies to the BCCI, the Lodha panel is likely to emphasise on transparency and accountability in the Board, thus making it more accessible to the public and clearing the air on the conflict of interest issue.
The panel is also likely to suggest measures to make state associations and officials accountable on financial matters. It is likely to touch upon the problems of cricket operations in the BCCI and state associations.
“This was a very different case for us. It was a good experience and inputs from all custodians of the game were insightful. Lots of information helped us in what we have done,” said Justice Lodha.
The Commission met around 90 former players, administrators, cricket historians and journalists before finalising its report. Six former India captains, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, Kapil Dev and Bishan Singh Bedi were among them.