The Supreme Court’s decision to dissolve the 14-member Working Committee, the most powerful body of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and replace it with a nine-member Apex Council is another major setback to the functioning of the Indian cricket board.
The Apex Council will consist of five elected office-bearers of the BCCI — president, one vice-president, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer. There will be four ‘councillors’ — two (one male, one female) to be nominated by the players’ association which is to be formed, one to be elected by the full members of the BCCI and one to be nominated by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG). The tenure will be for three years while the total period for a member will be nine years.
The Supreme Court in its order copy explained the reason for such a drastic move: “The governance of the BCCI must be decentralised. No individual is more important than the institution, and so all crucial powers and functions hitherto bestowed exclusively on the President will have to be divided across the governing body, which is to be known as the Apex Council (with a special and separate governing body for IPL, known as IPL Governing Council).”
Regarding the inclusion of only one vice-president out of the five in the Apex Council, the SC explained: “The provision for five vice-presidents is detrimental to efficiency and efficacy and so only one vice-president shall be elected to the Apex Council in the same manner as the secretary, joint secretary and treasurer.”
Former BCCI treasurer Kishore Rungta felt the Board’s most powerful body should have a majority view. “While reducing the number of members helps in smooth functioning, it is only fair to have more representation in a committee which is empowered to take crucial decisions. With more members, you have more views. I don’t think limiting the Apex Council to just nine members is good for the Board,” Rungta told HT.
Ravi Savant, who was appointed BCCI’s treasurer amidst the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, was concerned about the health of the Board with only one full member getting a berth in the Apex Council. “This will only elevate the bitterness and rivalry further between state associations. Above all, getting a post or being part of the BCCI sub-committee is a major attraction for state association members. If you are something in your state association, you fancy your chances to be in the BCCI. In such a scenario, I don’t see many members being interested to work passionately. Overall, it is not good for the health of the Board,” Savant remarked.
Meanwhile, former BCCI president N Srinivasan did not wish to comment on the SC verdict. “I am out of cricket (BCCI) for one-and-half year now. You need to ask the current people. I have not read (the order copy). I am busy… just came back from the factory. I am the wrong person to ask,” Srinivasan told HT.
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association president lost his cool when asked to respond to the blame put on him by many BCCI members for the current crisis. “Everybody knows who… Look, I do not want to offer any comments to you,” said Srinivasan as he hung up his phone.