Reforms googly entangles State Associations

The adoption of the Lodha Committee Recommendations will seriously hamper the functioning of the State Associations, if the Associations are to mirror the entire recommendations adopted by BCCI in its own Constitution.

BCCI has finally adopted the reforms and made changes to its constitution as per the Lodha Committee Recommendations. (File image)   -  AFP

“Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

The contest remains the same only the players have changed. The Board of Control for Cricket in India, after the epic battle, has finally adopted the reforms and made changes to its constitution as per the Lodha Committee Recommendations and the directives passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

The State Associations have been directed to adopt the subsequently amended recommendations by the Court in letter and spirit. In fact, the State Associations are required to mirror the entire recommendations in their Constitution. It now seems that the implementation and filtering down of Lodha Committee Recommendations to the State Associations is going to hit another road block. It will seriously hamper the functioning of the State Associations, if the Associations are to mirror the entire recommendations adopted by BCCI in its own Constitution.

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There are several reasons why a pragmatic approach needs to be taken and a middle path devised for better implementation of the Lodha Committee Recommendations in State Associations. The reforms need to be tailored to suit the requirements of the State Associations. There are many States where the Associations have been incorporated as Companies and several compliances in relation to Companies Act are to be mandatorily fulfilled. In such Associations, the composition of the Apex Council will have to be suitably changed to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act.

The Governing Council, which is required for running the Indian Premier League in BCCI, need not be required in case of State Associations. A more practical approach needs to be adopted before the concept of Governing Council is incorporated in the constitution of the State Associations, as it will lead to an equally powerful parallel body being set up in the State alongwith the Apex Council of the State.

The automatic membership to international players is a game changer as players have often been neglected, however, in State Associations players who have represented the State in First Class matches truly deserve to be given automatic membership of the State Associations.

The State Associations may not require five selectors and must be given the liberty to have three selectors in the various Selection Committees, depending upon the size of the State Associations. The criterion for the number of matches and the gap of retirement for being appointed as selector also needs to be modified to suit the needs of the State Associations as the manpower and resources available in the States cannot be compared to that of BCCI.

The various Cricket Committees which are to be formed also need to be appropriately amended in view of the specific requirements of State Association. The Cricket Advisory Committee formed for selecting the selectors for Indian Cricket Team may not be required at all in the State Associations.

If in case discretion is given to the State Associations, it will affect the uniformity in structure which the reforms envisage. It is clear that the Lodha Committee Recommendations are required to be implemented in toto by the State Associations if the actual reforms in Cricket are to happen at the grass root level. The judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court also makes it clear that State Associations shall undertake registration of their respective Constitutions on similar lines. However, it seems that the State Associations are likely to miss the deadline or seek redressal from the Court for a clarification as to how the reforms at a national level require suitable adaptations at the State level.

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It is suggested that reforms implemented by BCCI may be adapted for the State Associations as under-

  • Automatic membership for First Class Players of the State.
  • Reduction in the number of selectors depending upon the size of the State.
  • The eligibility criterion of Retirement Gap may be reduced to 2 years.
  • The concept of Governing Council may not be incorporated by the State Associations.
  • The eligibility criterion number of matches – Test & First class may be aptly reduced.
  • The number of Cricketing Committees may be reduced.

It is now for the Committee of Administrators of BCCI to step up and justify the status of BCCI as Big Brother by circulating a specimen constitution or guidelines for the State Association(s) with suitable adjustments to suit the need of the State Associations, to prevent the state of confusion which may hamper the adaptation of the Lodha Committee Recommendations by the State Associations failing which they will have to undertake the herculean task of individually vetting all the constitutions which may be adopted by the State Associations. If not done at the earliest, it will be left to the Court again to don the hat of the Coach to equip the State Associations to face the reforms ordered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.



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