In a move that would empower the government to set the ground rules for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), a draft bill is expected to be considered by the cabinet on Tuesday. The draft introduces a regulatory regime on all national sports federations, including the BCCI.
The cricket board is among the few sports federations that does not receive funds from the government but has been under attack for lack of transparency and accountability in its functioning, especially after the Indian team’s debacle in England.A parliamentary standing committee had recently pulled up the BCCI top brass for the way the Indian Premier League (IPL) was being run.
The board did not respond to queries from HT.
To make the BCCI accountable like any other sports federation, the government aims to bring it under the Right To Information (RTI) Act and make its audited accounts available on its website on an annual basis through the National Sports Development Bill, 2011.
The ministers of home, finance and law have supported the bill in inter-ministerial consultations.
It will now have to be approved by the Cabinet - which includes former BCCI and current International Cricket Council (ICC) chief and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.
The bill reserves at least 25% posts in federations for former players, which means that ex-cricketers will get more play in the affairs of the BCCI, at the expense of politicians.
It also puts a 70-year age bar for all administrators and limits appointments to only two consecutive terms.
Around 44 sports federations except BCCI and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have agreed to accept the age bar and other terms of appointment.
Spelling more trouble for the cricket board and Team India, the bill makes the National Anti-Doping Agency the sole body to implement all anti-doping measures and wants all federations to abide by its regulations. Team India has opposed moves to cover them under the anti-doping measures.
The government believes that the BCCI will have to accept the regulations as the bill provides for mandatory fresh registration of all national sports bodies within a year of enactment of the law.
The proposed law provides for an independent National Sports Council for framing policies and a National Sports Ombudsman to be set up in consultation with the IOA to look into all sorts of complaints. Besides, all disputes will have to be settled by a new sports tribunal once the bill is enacted into law.