No consensus likely at the BCCI special committee meeting

The Special Committee, which met in New Delhi on July 1, only harped on the difficulties that were pointed out in the BCCI’s affidavit on February 26, 2016 and also catalogued at the SGM held on October 1, 2016.

The BCCI has not yielded on its defiant position on the Lodha Committee reforms.   -  Reuters

Can the BCCI’s seven-member special committee, assigned with the task of listing the issues with the Supreme Court-endorsed Justice Lodha Committee reforms, work miracles at its second meeting convened at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai?

The meeting, originally slated for July 7, has been postponed by a day.

Those who have been privy to the goings-on in the BCCI’s Special General Meetings in the past 18 months, suggest that most members have regarded the Lodha reforms as a “millstone” and they would continue to prevaricate till the Supreme Court passes a judicial order.

A section in the BCCI, including acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and Maharashtra Cricket Association president Abhay Apte, which made a concerted effort to take the big step in terms of implementing the reforms process at the last SGM in Mumbai on June 26 were browbeaten.

The Special Committee, which met in New Delhi on July 1, only harped on the difficulties that were pointed out in the BCCI’s affidavit on February 26, 2016 and also catalogued at the SGM held on October 1, 2016.

While Choudhary is showing a wholehearted readiness to move forward, most of his colleagues in the Special Committee are still loath to do anything before the Supreme Court resumes hearing petitions related to Lodha Reforms case on July 14.

An impression that came out of the meeting in New Delhi was that it would be able to limit the “difficult recommendations to three or four’’. But a BCCI official who has had access to the minutes of that meeting said that the BCCI Treasurer, Anirudh Chaudhary wanted the Committee to take note of seven issues that the BCCI and its members were finding it difficult to comply with. They are:

(1) One State, One member, One Vote

(2) Cooling off period of three years after every three year term

(3) Composition of the selection committees — five to three

(4) Constitution of the Apex Council, tenure restrictions for the Apex Council for office bearers and the Apex Council itself

(5) Age cap and tenure cap of nine years for BCCI office bearers

(6) Balance of jurisdiction between office bearers and professional personnel in the BCCI

(7) Debarring Government servants being members/office bearers of associations.

The same official added: “Anirudh (Chaudhary) wants the Special Committee to run through all the affidavits filed by the BCCI and State associations and the judgments, hear the views of the members again to arrive at a consensus before a decision to convene another SGM. These are nothing but delaying tactics because each and every member has pointed the difficulties during the seven-hour SGM on October 1 last year. The SGM was actually put off by a day to ensure that authorised representatives of the State attended the SGM. More over, the order of July 18, 2016 was done after hearing the difficulties raised by the BCCI.’’

Sources also revealed that the chairman of the Special Committee, Rajeev Shukla, was on the horns of a dilemma and wanted advice on the options between (1) approaching the Supreme Court with meeting of views between the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and BCCI and (2) maintaining status quo till the Supreme Court hearing. Shukla is likely to go with the first option.

The CoA is likely to submit its fourth Status report well before the Supreme Court resumes hearing the particular case on July 14. It may not agree with any of the difficulties identified by the Special Committee at all.

It’s not known if the BCCI would have time to convene another SGM before July 14. According to the BCCI Rules and Regulations, “The President may at his discretion direct the Secretary to convene a Special General Meeting at shorter notice in which case a notice of at least 10 days shall be given.’’

The CoA will meet in New Delhi on July 15.