BCCI to convene SGM in Mumbai on August 5

This is the first response from the BCCI and it comes soon after Justice Lodha virtually ordered the Board to keep its full members abreast of all developments.

President Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke will have a face-to-face meeting with the Lodha Panel on August 9, in New Delhi.   -  Vivek Bendre

Nine days after the Supreme Court validated the Justice Lodha Committee's 'Reforms In Cricket' report and set a time limit of six months for the BCCI and its member units to implement the recommendations, the Board has convened a Special General Meeting here on August 5 to take forward the apex court's order. This is the first response from the BCCI, and it comes soon after Justice Lodha virtually ordered the Board to keep its full members abreast of all developments.

While disposing the PIL, the Supreme Court said: "In the result, we accept the report submitted by the Committee and the recommendations made therein with such modifications and clarifications as have been set out by us in the body of this judgment. Having said that, we must hasten to add that the implementation of the recommendations is equally important and ought to be achieved within a reasonable period. The transition from the old system to the new recommended by the Committee shall have to be under the watchful supervision of this Court."

The order further said: "Constraints of time and the multiple dimensions of the recommendations made however make it difficult for us to take that supervisory role upon ourselves. The supervision of the transition can, in our opinion, be left to be undertaken by the Committee not only because it has a complete understanding of and insight into the nature of the problems sought to be remedied, but also the ability to draw timelines for taking of steps necessary for the implementation of the proposed reforms.

"We are conscious of the fact that the process may be time consuming, but we hope that the same should be completed within a period of four months or at best six months from today. We, therefore, request the committee headed by Justice Lodha to draw appropriate timelines for implementation of the recommendations and supervise the implementation thereof. Needless to say, the BCCI and all concerned shall cooperate and act in aid of the Committee and its directives. Should any impediments arise, the Committee shall be free to seek appropriate directions from this Court by filing a status report in that regard."

The Supreme Court order makes it mandatory for the BCCI and its full members to abide by the directive. Two days ago, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) accepted the Lodha Recomendations in full and started the process of rewriting its Constiution.

While the BCCI and its existing full members are mentally prepared to face the changed circumstances, it would be virtually impossible for the new North-Eastern States (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram) to get everything in place, most importantly the players association. A few States could face hindrance from two or even three registered player associations already in place.

What the cricketing fraternity knows is that the die is cast, and the recommendations have to be implemented.

After the Supreme Court received the Lodha Remmendations, the BCCI and its full members were hopeful that some miracle would happen to soften the Lodha blow; but once the Supreme Court passed the final order on July 18, the BCCI and its constitutents were stunned.

The order will affect five members. The Railways, Services, Universities, Cricket Club of India and the National Cricket Club have had their votes taken away and been relegated to associate members; Maharashtra and Gujarat each have had their voting strength whittled down from six to two. The Lodha Committee and the Supreme Court has changed the name of the game in India.

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