BCCI members await SGM direction

Representatives of State associations and CCI say they have been part and parcel of Indian cricket’s history and will make a presentation at the SGM that will aim to protect their primacy in the Board.

Former Chief Justice of India, R.M. Lodha-led committee had proposed a complete overhaul of the governance structure on cricketing and non-cricketing matters.   -  R.V. Moorthy

Miffed by the Justice Lodha Committee recommendation to relegate them to the associate category of the BCCI without voting rights, members from the West Zone feel that the special general meeting (SGM) at the Cricket Centre here on Friday (February 19) will give them a first-hand account of how the Board would respond to the sweeping changes proposed by the Supreme Court appointed three-member committee to make the BCCI administration transparent and accountable and in particular to the ‘one state, one vote’ proposal.

The committee has also proposed a complete overhaul of the governance structure on cricketing and non-cricketing matters. In some aspects the committee has virtually rewritten the bylaws; a major recommendation is that Bihar and the north-eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram be given membership with voting rights.

The deliberations at the SGM would be part of the report the BCCI will submit to the Supreme Court on March 3. The SGM is likely to admit Chhattisgarh as full member.

A keynote proposal is to give just one vote to the State of Maharashtra, which currently has three members with voting rights in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidarbha and Gujarat, which has three members with voting rights in Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra. Founder member Cricket Club of India (CCI) currently has a vote.

Representatives of State associations and CCI say they have been part and parcel of Indian cricket’s history and will make a presentation at the SGM that will aim to protect their primacy in the Board.

Each one of them has gone to the extent of consulting legal luminaries, obtaining their opinion on the recommendations and preparing a report.

The Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) which held an SGM early this week has consulted Justice Mohit Shah, former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.

The Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has lawyers in its managing committee and it’s likely to make a power-point presentation. Almost all of them would make a strong pitch as to why the “history of Indian cricket” should not be ignored.

During the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Saurashtra and Assam, the BCA members said that there was a time when Baroda’s royal family used to defray some expenses of the BCCI.

What the members of the BCCI from Maharashtra and Gujarat fear is the possibility of their collective voting strength getting reduced to two from seven (including CCI) and the East Zone voting strength getting more than doubled; from six to 12.

Most members believe that it will take years to spread the culture of cricket in the north-eastern States and that the BCCI policy to upgrade their category (affiliate to full membership) is as good a method as the ICC follows at the international level.

The BCCI will be largely guided by its legal committee comprising P.S. Raman, Abhay Apte and D.V.S.S. Somayajulu and by the thoughts of its president Shashank Manohar who has already arrived for the ICC World Twenty20 and IPL venues meeting on Thursday.

Most BCCI officials and members and the State units have clearly understood the observations made by the apex court on February 4 and would probably be compelled to accept a number of the proposals made by the Lodha Committee.