DIVIDED HOUSE

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Mar 2018 11:13:00

YET another Status Report has been filed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) seeking strict action against the officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over implementation of the Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations.

The Board officials, never willing to budge, have yet again accused the CoA of exceeding its brief. This ping-pong battle has been going on for almost two years since the Supreme Court constituted the CoA for implementation of its order. Neither the Lodha committee reforms were adopted by the BCCI nor the SC-appointed committee was able to fulfill the apex court’s order. As a result what one sees is constant bickering among the BCCI officials and the CoA comprising Vinod Rai and Diana Eduljee. Both are at loggerheads over a plethora of decisions that form the structure of administration in the Board.

The latest point of friction is the process of awarding central contracts to the Indian cricketers. The BCCI announced an astronomical hike to the players but acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has termed it as an arbitrary decision by the CoA, which according the official, did not keep the BCCI office-bearers in loop. This has been a regular feature over every decision the Board has announced in the last two years. The resultant mess has completely defeated the purpose of the Supreme Court’s intervention in the BCCI affairs following the fixing scandal in the Indian Premier League. The apex court’s focus on overhauling the Board’s functioning was remarkable given the rapid pace the issue was dealt with.

The aimed overhaul, though, has not been achieved despite its committee monitoring the affairs in BCCI. In the seventh Status Report, the CoA has now sought removal of BCCI office-bearers citing end of their tenures. The tenure cap will come into effect only when the Board unconditionally adopts the Lodha panel recommendations which looks a distant dream. Meanwhile, the Board continues to be a divided house, messing up issues at hand. The latest being keeping pacer Mohd Shami out of the central contracts over allegations of domestic violence. BCCI has acted as judge even before a trial and pronounced the bowler guilty. Interestingly, it did not act against leggie Amit Mishra, who faced similar charges, a year ago.