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BCCI reveals new constitution, interpretation will be key

sports Updated: Aug 22, 2018 00:00 IST

NEW DELHI The formation of an Apex Council, stringent rules on conflict of interest and the formation of a players’ association are part of the new Board of Control for Cricket in India constitution that was registered on Tuesday with the Registrar of Societies of Tamil Nadu in Chennai. This sets the ball rolling for the state associations to adopt the new constitution in the next four weeks and then prepare for the elusive elections.

The new Memorandum of Association and rules and regulations is the result of a Supreme Court order delivered on August 9 this year. A three-judge bench had deliberated for more than 30 months after former CJI RM Lodha revealed a slew of recommendations aimed at reforming the prosperous but seemingly ill-governed BCCI on January 4, 2016.

The new 99-page constitution is diluted version of the proposals the Lodha committee had made and the Supreme Court had signed off on July 18, 2016.

The Lodha committee recommended strict rules on membership and voting rights, age and tenure. The new constitution is hardly ‘new’. As opposed to Lodha’s one-state-one-unit, the new constitution accommodates the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, who will have multiple units with full voting rights. The modified tenure to hold a post is much ‘cooler’ than what Lodha said.

TWEAKS AND POWER

The institutional units like Services, Universities and the Railways have also retained their full membership and voting rights. The only tweak is that a former cricketer elected by an association of former players will be eligible to cast the vote.

The interpretation of the clauses in the new rulebook will be crucial. The several rules on conflict of interest, the definition of a person “holding a public office” and someone “charged by court of law for any criminal offence” may scupper the desire of several high-profile cricket officials seeking a position in the BCCI. Having said this, another spate of litigation cannot be ruled out.

The formation of a nine-member Apex Council – it was part of Lodha’s proposals -- will garner a lot of limelight in the new scheme of things. The principal body of the BCCI, the Council has to include two members from the players’ association and one of them has to be a female.

A FAILURE

Players associations have been a failure in India. Multiple associations, one led by a famous Indian all-rounder and an opening batsman, have failed to function for lack of unity and transparency. How this will be addressed by the BCCI will be interesting to see.

The ‘Indianisation’ of cricket is one of the best things of this constitution. The North-east will emerge as a big vote bank and those aspiring to be office-bearers – president, the vice-presidents, honorary secretaries, joint-secretaries and treasurers – will have to run that extra mile to woo voters.

Bihar’s re-admission into the mainstream is good news for a state that has faced the brunt of factionalism and subsequent split (into Jharkhand). Vinod Rai’s Committee of Administrators is yet to fix the Bihar’s internal cricket politics with the current set of officials running the show not seen as ‘clean’ in many quarters. The appointment of an adhoc committee may have settled the Bihar issue.

At least the new constitution will end the long innings of ‘acting’ BCCI officials in perennial animosity with Rai’s committee that is commandeered by the CEO. A new ‘chapter’ in Indian cricket lurks and it could not have been better timed with the good turn of events at Nottingham.

First Published: Aug 21, 2018 20:09 IST