Wednesday, Jan 16, 2019 | Last Update : 01:36 PM IST
The very idea of reforms was to stop this pillaging of the game’s funds and to root out corruption.
The final judgment on reforms to be carried out in the BCCI is less than satisfactory because it dilutes the best of intentions behind the changes recommended by the Justice Lodha Committee. The cardinal principle of establishing equity by introducing “one state, one vote” has been abominably washed out in the final orders by which the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat will have three votes while others, including government arms like railways, services and universities, will continue to enjoy the privilege of casting a valuable vote in administering the cash-rich sport of cricket. Allowing the continuation of the historical participation of teams like Saurashtra and current Ranji Trophy champion Vidarbha may do no damage to the game. But in letting them retain their votes, the top court may be helping administrators to enjoy more than just the privileges and perquisites out of cricket. The very idea of reforms was to stop this pillaging of the game’s funds and to root out corruption.
Some amendments to the long delayed BCCI constitutional reforms might make sense like retaining five selectors for a country that is going to have a record 37 teams playing first-class cricket from the coming season. Where the orders may allow the old order of administrators living off the fat of the game to prevail is in doing away with the mandatory cooling off period between terms. However, there could be relief in the overall six-years rule for cooling off being retained, as the same old suspects cannot continue to rule. Also those who have attained 70 years like a former powerful president have been barred from seeking comebacks. It is to be seen if other reforms like keeping out politicians and bureaucrats will hold good or a stodgily battling BCCI members will upend these reforms by pulling strings and monopolising power through the state cricket associations that make up the BCCI.