Rattled by the fury of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the BCCI will meet here on September 29-30 to chalk the course of action. The BCCI will be holding an Emergent Special General Meeting to consider the amendments to BCCI’s rules and regulations as recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee.
The Supreme Court though has held that holding the meeting will also be in violation of its directives. One of the state units had mulled walking out of the Annual General Meeting on September 21 for fear of contempt of court. After the apex court’s tough talk, it remains to be seen if all the members will be in attendance. In a status report, the Supreme Court’s three-member panel sought the removal of the Board’s top brass.
The Bench has given BCCI time till October 6 to file its reply to the status report, which has recommended structural reforms in the cricket body. One could sense the nervousness among the senior members but the Board is defiant. The BCCI will be submitting a point-by-point reply to the status report and expecting the legal team to come up with strong arguments at the next hearing.
The BCCI’s best hope is in being allowed to exercise the right to exhaust all its legal remedies. It will at least buy some time. Given the apex court’s stance, this game-plan may not work too. “We will implement all their recommendations, but we have the right to exhaust all our legal options. The only point where we differ (with the Supreme Court panel) is they want us to implement in the least possible time and we want to exercise all our legal remedies. If the review petition is dismissed then we have the curative petition,” said a senior Board functionary.
However, Lodha has declared that the BCCI got an opportunity to argue against the recommendations. He has ruled out any further dialogue, stating it is about implementing the Supreme Court’s judgement now.
Now, the best the state units are hoping is that middle ground can be found. A seasoned administrator raised concerns. “It will be a difficult transition period for Indian cricket, since there is a hectic domestic season. Three to four associations may not have a problem but what about other associations? The matches will be played at 20-25 centres. A new team will come and handle. In most associations, the current office-bearers have been serving for a long period and there is no second line. It will be important to (temporarily) relax the cooling off period for those administrators who have not completed nine years so that they can assist in the transition period.”
At the AGM, the BCCI offended the judiciary by not only transacting business beyond the last season but also by not adhering to the guidelines for future appointments. For example, appointing non-Test players in the national selection committee is something which has not gone down well. During the SGM, there could be a re-think on the decision of having non-Test players like Gagan Khoda and Jatin Paranjpe in the senior selection committee.