Lodha Committee recommends BCCI restructuring; wants politicians out of cricket, separate body for IPL

New Delhi: The Justice RM Lodha panel on IPL spot fixing submitted its report to the Supreme Court on Monday. Subsequently, Justice Lodha addressed a press conference to make clear the recommendations of the report, which will have great ramifications for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian cricket, if implemented.

Justice Lodha speaking to the media on Monday

“The first thing we did was to interact with all BCCI officials, except the President and Secretary, through a questionaire. We interacted with all stakeholders. Six former captains were also consulted – Bishan Bedi, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble,” Lodha said.

Lodha then presented the details. According to ESPNCricinfo, he called for a restructuring of the BCCI constitution. One association from each state should be a member of the BCCI, said Lodha. At present the BCCI has 34 members, including inactive ones like Railways and Services who don’t even play tournaments. The RM Lodha panel has thus recommended relegation of Railways, Services and other members who don’t have terrority or competitive presence, to affiliate status without voting rights.

Significantly, the panel recommended separate governing bodies for the BCCI and the Indian Premier League (IPL), with certain level of autonomy provided to the IPL body.

Regarding the IPL, the committee’s recommendation is that the chief governing body will be known as the governing council, which will comprise nine members. The secretary and the treasurer of the BCCI will be ex-officio members of this IPL governing council. Two other members of the IPL governing council will be nominated or elected by the full members. Of the remaining five, two will be the nominees of franchises, one will be a representative of the players association and one will a nominee of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s office. As of now though, there is no IPL players’ association in place, and Lodha has recommended its creation.

Related Read: Justice Lodha Committee submits report to Supreme Court, BCCI on alert

For the creation of the players’ association, the report has called for a ‘steering committee’ which will include Mohinder Amarnath, former India women’s captain Diana Eduljee, and Anil Kumble. They will adhere to the suggestions in the report and take up the matter with the BCCI. A robust agent registration system will also be put up for safeguarding player interests.

Here’s the new BCCI structure proposed by the Lodha committee, in a diagram:

The day to day management of the BCCI should be conducted by a CEO, said the committee report. He should be assisted by six professional managers. They will be responsible to an apex council.

Moreover, the governing council of the IPL should take all decisions regarding the IPL, which will include the financial decisions. The governing council will also be answerable to the general body of the BCCI.

The apex council of the BCCI on the other hand, will constitute of 9 members, of which 5 will be elected, 2 will be representatives of the players’ association, and one will be a woman.

The RM Lodha Committee has also recommended the creation of three other authorities for the smooth functioning of the BCCI.

First, an ombudsman, whose task is to preside internal disputes resolution mechanism, disputes between BCCI and members, BCCI and associates, breaches by administrators, players, team officials etc. He or she will have an additional role – handling grievances concerning access to stadia, manipulation in ticket distribution etc. The ombudsman should be a judge of the Supreme Court or a retired judge of a High Court.

The second authority would be an ethics officer whose task is to administer the issues relating to the conflict of interest, misdemeanour, misbehaviour or corruption issues. The ethics officer proposed by Lodha would be a former high court judge.

The third authority proposed is an electoral officer who will oversee the entire BCCI election process relating to the office bearers, namely preparation of voters list, publication, disputes over eligibility of the office bearers etc. All these matters will be overseen by the electoral officer, who should be nominated at least 2 weeks before the election. He will be a former election commissioner of India.

The committee has also suggested certain eligibility criteria for important BCCI office bearers like the President, Vice President, secretary, joint secretary and treasurer. The criteria include – not being more than 70 years old, not being insolvent, not holding any post in the government (whether that of a minister or a government servant). He also must not have held office in BCCI for the last nine years. Each office bearer will have a tenure of three years, and no office bearer can hold the office for more than three terms – with the rider that there will be a ‘cooling off period’ after each term.

Each of the selection committee would comprise three members. The members of the senior selection committee can only be those who have played international Test matches and the one with most Test caps would be chairman. Talent spotting committee comprising three members. All these selection committees would be appointed at the AGM.

“We have recommended a uniformity in the structure and constitution of state associations, with recommendations like the associations must not have office for life, or office for more than nine years. (We have called for) separation of social and cricket activities in the state associations, with no proxy voting. Their accounts must be audited by the BCCI to maintain transparency in functioning. They must comply with all the directives of the BCCI in putting in place issues such as resolution of conflict of interest, administering the code of conduct, behaviour, corruption issues etc.” said Justice Lodha.

“Any breach of the directives by state associations would disentitle them from the grant of the subsidy and other grants from the BCCI. Moreover, the distribution of subsidy and grants from the BCCI would depend on the infrastructure and development of the game by the state association,” he added. Moreover, the state associations have to make all decisions public on their website.

Lastly, the state associations should comprise only of ex-cricketers, and no politicians. They must also follow a proper stadium rotation policy, Lodha concluded.

The ball now lies in the Supreme Court.