Adopt Lodha reforms, Jaitley tells BCCI members

The Union Finance Minister is reported to have advised the Board members to avoid any further confrontation with the judiciary and concentrate on charting the road ahead.

A small delegation of the BCCI called on Arun Jaitley (in picture) to seek his guidance.   -  Ramesh Sharma

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was on Saturday advised to adopt the Lodha Committee recommendations following a meeting between a few important members and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

It is learnt that a small delegation, led by veteran cricket official Rajeev Shukla, and including Board’s acting-secretary Amitabh Choudhary, called on Jaitley to seek his guidance. Jaitley is reported to have advised the Board members to avoid any further confrontation with the judiciary and concentrate on charting the road ahead.

According to sources, the seven-member special committee was of the firm opinion that the issue had to be settled in the best interests of the game. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly attended the meeting through Skype. The committee appreciated Ganguly’s participation.

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Incidentally, there was little support for a former president’s relentless campaign to oppose most of the reforms in the name of protecting the autonomous structure of the Board.

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As a Board official revealed, things were building up in the last two months for a positive response to the reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee. “We are determined to facilitate the Apex Court’s intent to the best of our abilities. We have to ensure that the environment surrounding the game is good and progressive. We have travelled almost the complete distance today,” said Choudhary after Saturday’s meeting.

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“The Board has to survive for the game to thrive. It can’t happen by constantly opposing reforms. We are determined to translate the order we have got from the highest court of land,” he added.

Four points

The members of the special committee decided to apprise the Supreme Court of four points which, they feel, would help in the smooth running of the Board and the game.

“One State one vote, cooling-off period (on completing a three-year term), composition of the selection committee (from the current three to five members) and age cap (70 years)...,” said Choudhary, elaborating the points. The 73-year-old Niranjan Shah, a special invitee to the meeting, was the only one to oppose the age-cap recommendation.

During the recent season, there was a piquant situation in a Test match where a National selector could attend only a day’s play. The three selectors have been struggling to meet the heavy workload.

The Board will have its second meeting on July 7 in Mumbai and file its response to the implementation of the Lodha reforms on July 13. The matter comes up in the Supreme Court on July 14 where the status reports filed by the Committee of Administrators (CoA) will be taken up.

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