- Justice Lodha is all set to become Indian cricket's real hero.
- The Lodha Panel have frozen BCCI's state funds until they implement the Lodha reforms.
- Here is an analysis on how Lodha will revive Indian cricket.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), hands down the richest cricket board in the world, has been losing its shine by revolving around corruption time and time again.
To bring in transparency and restore the former glory of the Indian cricket board, a former Chief Justice of India, RM Lodha, was needed.
For any layman, the BCCI, a board even richer than the International Cricket Council (ICC), is associated with dishonesty.
Exploiting their dominance, the BCCI has been like a spoilt brash kid who will do anything to get its wish.
Until the Supreme Court stepped in, the cricket board was always an independent body acting according to their convenience. For example, since they did not accept the use of DRS (Decision Review System), the technology was not used whenever a country played India.
Because it has always been the BCCI, who has had the last say.
The successful launch of the Indian Premier League only strengthened their supremacy in the cricketing world. The Indian board had everything in control until the IPL 2013 scandal, exposed by the Lodha Committee.
There began the gradual downfall of the board - then led by N. Srinivasan, who was asked to step down from the post.
Since then, the BCCI has had three presidents - Jagmohan Dalmiya, Shashank Manohar and the current chief, Anurag Thakur.
Lodha, a 67-year-old retired judge, has joined hands with Ashok Bhan and RV Raveendran to carry the cleanup of Indian cricket.
The first step by the Lodha Panel was like a six out of the stadium - they recommended the board to form an advisory committee, which eventually saw the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, as its members.
That resulted in the appointment of Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble as head coaches of India Under-19 and Indian senior cricket team. Under Dravid, the U-19 team reached the final of the ICC World Cup, while Kumble has already helped India touch the No. 1 spot in Tests.
Later, the Lodha Committee submitted a report to the Supreme Court recommending a list of reforms for the BCCI. This triggered a showdown between the BCCI and Lodha, as the former refused to implement the latter's recommendations.
Not backing down, the Lodha Panel hardened its stand as well. "The BCCI thinks it is a law in itself like they are the Lord. If they do not implement the reforms, we will have to bring them on-line. The reforms are non-negotiable," the Lodha Panel firmly said.
This gave cricket lovers in India a ray of hope that the BCCI will soon undergo a much needed reformation. Here are a few crucial reforms that can change Indian cricket right from the grass-root level.
Indian Selectors must have Test experience:
The Lodha Panel has said that instead of current five selectors, BCCI must have just three in the committee and Test experience is a must. Out of the five selectors in the current committee, only three have played Tests.
Bring BCCI under RTI:
If the Indian board has been playing clean, there should be no problem in agreeing to this reform. Alas, Anurag Thakur and Co refuse to implement this. (Something fishy? Maybe.)
No bureaucrats in the office:
The panel also said that ministers should be barred from holding a post in the BCCI. In that case, the current chief, Thakur, who is a member of Lok Sabha, might be in trouble if the reforms are implemented.
In Thakur's defence, he has played cricket; that is ONE First-Class game. If Lodha considers that 'experience', Thakur will survive.
Change the current office bearers:
Since the BCCI has been adamant on not applying the reforms, an angry Lodha Panel suggested the Apex Court force a re-election of office bearers of the Indian board. If this happens, Indian cricket will start afresh.
Justice Lodha, who has the support of the Supreme Court, has been fighting hard against a body that thought it was invincible. If Thakur and Co are stubborn, then Lodha too has his ways.
He initially froze the BCCI's funds for its state associations. The situation of the BCCI worsened when Lodha forced them to call off the bidding for IPL media rights.
All this will be resumed only if the board implements the Lodha reforms.
It's almost game over for Thakur and his boys. Their opponents, the Lodha-led committee, seems to have taken an insurmountable lead in this battle!
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:32 PM IST