BCCI to hold a four-day conclave in Dharamshala

After ensuring ‘Test’ status to this sleepy town, the recently elected Board President Anurag Thakur is hosting the country’s select coaches, captains, administrators and the decision-taking machinery of Indian cricket to finalise the course of action, in these testing times, over the next two days.

Dharamshala was recently awarded its first test match.   -  PTI

After ensuring ‘Test’ status to this sleepy town, the recently elected Board President Anurag Thakur is hosting the country’s select coaches, captains, administrators and the decision-taking machinery of Indian cricket to finalise the course of action, in these testing times, over the next two days.

With the Lodha Committee set to hear the arguments one last time later this month and the Supreme Court to pronounce its order next month, the Board looks desperate to appear clean, progressive and of transparent in its decision-making.

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This is also the last opportunity for the Board to gain some popular perception against the much-believed impression of being a ‘cosy club’ of a select few. Fearing the far-reaching impact of the Lodha Committee recommendations, when implemented in full, the Board clearly has few options.

Before the verdict binds the Board into implementing these recommendations, aimed solely at reforming the working of the cricketing body, the decisions taken at the all-powerful Working Committee here could help Thakur and his team.

To redeem its sullied image, following the match-fixing episodes in the Indian Premier League and involvement of two of the now-banned franchisees, the Board had begun the “reforms” under former President Shashank Manohar by bringing transparency in financial matters. It was decided to display on the Board’s website any transaction involving Rs. 25 lakh or more.

Thakur appears keen to continue the good work. With a new secretary in Ajay Shirke, the team has the opportunity to build a good image of the Board.

On cricketing matters, the Board has done well to add six new Test venues as 13 Tests are set to be hosted this season. The Board has shown its inclination to host ‘pink ball Test’ against New Zealand this season and the experiments have started in the right earnest.

Thakur has talked about bringing the crowds back to Test cricket. As a consequence, the novelty of a day-night Test under lights, with pink ball, could well serve as a catalyst. The decision of playing this season’s Duleep Trophy with pink ball underlines the Board’s seriousness on the subject.

The transparency displayed in process of selecting the new coach for the senior team has been unprecedented. An advisory committee involving three cricketers of repute has been entrusted with the job of selecting the new coach. Unlike the past, the procedure invited invitations from those interested. A few were interviewed and heard. Once the final candidate is chosen, the selection will be ratified by the Working Committee meeting here on June 24.

Among other issues, the meeting is also set to ratify the appointment of the Board’s CEO Rahul Johri, the decisions taken by its Technical Committee and discuss adopting neutral venues for this season’s Ranji Trophy (which is believed to have been opposed by several captains).

On Thursday, there is a meeting of coaches and captains, IPL Governing Council, Junior selection committee and the Affiliation Committee.

But the focus will on the Working Committee meeting, likely to be the last one before the all-reforming Lodha Committee recommendations come into force.