It’s been an open secret for a long time that a quite a number of members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had grudged the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat -- with three members each -- for receiving subvention money from media rights and the additional IPL money from 2008. Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidarbha are from Maharashtra state, while Gujarat, Saurashtra and Baroda belong to Gujarat. They could have received a cumulative Rs. 800 crore to Rs. 1000 crore over a period of the last 10 years when the BCCI actually began to make money from television rights with Star Sports, apparel, team and series sponsorship and after Sharad Pawar became the BCCI president in 2005.
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That these member units get much more money than States with one Ranji Trophy team like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and many others, also rankles many in the BCCI. Some of them are clearly delighted that the Supreme Court has endorsed the Lodha Committee recommendation that only one member each from Maharashtra and Gujarat will have a vote under the ``one-state, one-member, one-vote ’rule’ on an annual rotational basis.
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A senior BCCI member from East Zone told Sportstar that he liked a majority of the Lodha Committee recommendations in the ``reforms in cricket’’ report. When asked to specify, he said: ``Equality and removal of the apartheid policy and transparency. In what way is Tamil Nadu’s contribution to Indian cricket less than others; or for that matter Karnakaka or Delhi or Punjab. But these States received only one subvention and IPL money, whereas Maharashtra and Gujarat got six times over. And the two states had seven votes taking the CCI into account.’’
Touching upon the 'One-state, one-member, one-vote' recommendation the court said: "Those existing members who are affected by the changes suggested by the Committee must appreciate that the changes are being suggested in the interest of the game as a whole and also having regard to BCCI’s role as a national body to promote and control cricket in India.
Governance of cricket being the central theme, the changes in membership in the BCCI are inevitable and must be seen by all concerned in the right spirit of fair representation and for the betterment of cricket administration."
This East Zone official is unhappy that the Supreme Court has endorsed the Lodha Committee report that the six Ranji Trophy teams (from Maharashtra and Gujarat) would receive the financial grant for the development of cricket. "There is also this rule that member units which staged Test matches, ODIs and Twenty20 matches should be given more money. It’s possible that someone may go to court now," the official said.
The official did not offer any comment on the Court’s decision to go with the recommendation that the CAG and the State Accountant General’s office will be a part of the management of the BCCI and State association, but he welcomed the move to put in place systems and mechanisms to monitor the usage of grants given to the State associations.
With the BCCI to come under the ambit of the Rules and Regulations rewritten by the Lodha Committee in six months' time, the distribution of a fixed sum for all states will come to an end.