An air of consternation hung heavily among the Indian cricket Board members who had assembled for the annual awards night in Mumbai on Monday, when, earlier in the day, the Lodha committee made sweeping recommendations to reform it. The BCCI seemed to be caught in an attempt to delay things and buy time, in contrast to the mood of those who were being awarded.
The reigning sentiment among the top BCCI officials is to be defiant legally, yet there is a feeling that it has little choice but to accept the recommendations.
The BCCI is yet to come out openly with its response to the report, but in hushed tones, within the confines of its decision-making circles, there is an overwhelming sense that it should seek clarity, unanimity and possibly challenge at least those recommendations that are unacceptable to it.
It is learnt from a top BCCI official that the Board is going to circulate the recommendations to various state associations for their independent study.
Further, once it goes through the report, the BCCI plans to convene a Special General Body meeting to seek unanimity among associations and decide its course of action.
“It is critical what the members feel about the recommendations and accordingly we will convene the meeting to seek what they mean, for their interests as well as the parent body’s interests. For example, on ‘one state, one vote’ we need to know from Vidharbha, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra whether they are willing to come under one umbrella,” said a top BCCI official.
While there is opinion in favour of some of the recommendations made by the Lodha committee, others make the BCCI top brass nervous --- fixed term and ‘one man, one post’, for example.
While weighing the options on whether there can be a legal window to revisit some of the recommendations, there is only some optimism in the BCCI corridor. A top BCCI official familiar with the legal ramifications isn’t that buoyant about any drastic change in the recommendations being made even if the BCCI expresses its reservations in the Apex court.
“You fight first, then the court intervenes, then it sets up corrective measures and now you are finding it uncomfortable to accept all recommendations. Legally it looks unlikely, neither is the Apex court going to entertain such submission,” said the official.
The days ahead for the BCCI guarantee cohesive and amiable talks across various associations in spite of their differences owing to various factions they represent. The recommendations that hit them hard, for the time being, has united them to protect their interests vis-a-vis the sweeping change that might render them powerless.