New BCCI chief Anurag Thakur has a tough job at hand with the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel calling for sweeping changes in the powerful Indian cricket board as well as state bodies.
From restricting ad breaks to drinks intervals to keeping ministers and government servants out of BCCI, the panel takes the sledge hammer to the Indian cricket administration. With the top court keeping a close watch, Thakur has his work cut out. And, Team India has been without a fulltime coach for almost a year. Add that to Thakur’s already crowded to-do list.
Keeping the money flow
It’s the financial muscle, and not administration, that made the Board of Control for Cricket in India the powerhouse of the world cricket. With the Lodha panel recommending curtailed ad time during matches, the BCCI TV rights deals could take a hit. Former cricket board chief Shashank Manohar claimed the revenue would be reduced to just 15-20% -- from R2,000 crore to R400 crore, which would further drop to R300 crore after tax. Ensuring revenue flow will be one of the biggest challenges for Thakur.
Search for a coach
Since Duncan Fletcher’s departure after the 2015 World Cup, India have played under the guidance of team director Ravi Shastri, whose tenure ended with the World T20. With series against Zimbabwe and West Indies coming up, Thakur has to select the man to handle one of the most important jobs in the Indian as well as the world cricket.
Players’ attitude towards media
One of the main concerns for the new BCCI president will be the relationship between players and the media. Of late, players have spoken to journalists with arrogance and also gone to the extent of arguing and hurling abuses. Thakur will have to keep an eye out for incidents that can tarnish the image of the BCCI.
SC hammer on state units
Some Lodha panel recommendations threaten the existence of some of the state associations, leaving them demoralised. If the ‘one-state, one-vote’ is implemented, it will alter the dynamics of the cricket structure in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The president will be under pressure to safeguard their interests.
Accountability in state bodies
The biggest issue is lack of accountability in state units that get huge funding from the board for infrastructure development and promotion of the game. There have been many cases of corruption and BCCI has been powerless in dealing with them.
The big bully of international cricket, an opaque body, crassly commercial and biased -- BCCI is accused of all this and more. Thakur will have to continue the process begun by predecessor Shashank Manohar to improve the image of the Indian board.