Former Comptroller and Auditor General of India Vinod Rai will head a Supreme Court-appointed four-member panel of administrators that will now run the beleaguered Board of Control for Cricket in India. The 68-year-old Vinod Rai was CAG between January 2008 to May 2013.
The Supreme Court on Monday named the high-profile panel that includes former Indian women’s team captain Diana Edulji, historian Ramachandra Guha and Managing Director of Infrastructure Developement Finance Company Vikram Limaye. The quartet will have to submit a status report in four weeks.
Guha told HT that he will “accept the post” but did not want to comment at this stage.
Vinod Rai told NDTV that he will “ensure a smooth transition” and that his role will be that of a “nighwatchman.”
Rai told the TV channel that he had no “exposure to BCCI, but was very fond of cricket.”
The Supreme Court was to name a set of administrators last Tuesday (January 24), but withheld it after the BCCI and the Attorney General of India wanted to suggest names as well.
On January 2, the Supreme Court had removed Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke as BCCI president and secretary, respectively. The duo paid the price for obstructing the implemention of the reforms suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed RM Lodha panel.
The Supreme Court declined to include the secretary of the sports ministry in the panel today. The sports secretary’s name was proposed by Attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the BCCI’s institutional units -- Railways, Services and the Universities.
The Supreme Court has allowed Limaye and BCCI joint-secretary Amitabh Choudhary and Anirudh Chaudhry to represent the BCCI at the February 2-4 International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai. The court has made it clear that this will be a one-off meeting for Amitabh and Anirudh representing the Board.
The panel of administrators will now have to deal with several tasks, including implementing the Lodha reforms which were made binding on the BCCI on July 18 last year.
The Lodha reforms include age and tenure caps on officials. The administrators will now have to submit a report on how much the Lodha panel reforms have been executed by the BCCI and its state units. The next hearing is on March 27.
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had frozen BCCI’s accounts and no funds were being allocated to state bodies till they fell in line with the Lodha reforms.
CAG’s choice not a surprise
The choice of Vinod Rai does not come as a surprise.When the Lodha panel first presented its report last year, it had wanted the presence of the CAG official in the BCCI’s apex panel.
The BCCI had steadfastly opposed including a CAG nominee, saying it amounted to interference from the government. The BCCI is an autonomous body registered under the Societies Act.
The Supreme Court had been critical of the BCCI top brass from Day 1. The way the Board distributed funds to its state units never amused the judges.
Apart from executing the Lodha reforms, the new BCCI bosses will also have top deal with media rights, that brings in the lion’s share of the BCCI’s revenue.