BCCI set for major makeover

The Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations upon which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was founded some eight and half decades ago and registered in Madras in 1940 is all set for a complete makeover.

The Special General Meeting is likely to spend time on as many as 12 recommendations.   -  PTI

The Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations upon which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was founded some eight and half decades ago and registered in Madras in 1940 is all set for a complete makeover.

The full, associate and affiliate members of the Board will meet at the special general meeting here at the Cricket Centre on Friday to mull over virtually all aspects of the ‘Model Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations’ as articulated by the Supreme Court Committee in Justices R.M.Lodha, Ashok Bhan and R.V. Raveendran in their 300 page report on Reforms in Cricket.

Willy-nilly, the BCCI would have to accept probably majority of the recommendations, without a murmur, but given a one-month time by the Supreme Court on February 4 to revert with its own point of view on the report, majority of the full members - minus the suspended Rajasthan Cricket Association - have already submitted their observations on the report to the BCCI. The others, and this could include the associate and affiliate, may also chose to press their view on some aspects of the report.

The SGM will also consider an affiliation committee report on Chattisgarh State Cricket Association and also important ICC related matters, notably the change in the power structure and the pattern of distribution of revenues.

It’s understood that the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has expressed its reservations because previously the Working Committee was made a party to decisions on ICC matters. “Without India being part of the power-centre that included Cricket Australia and the ECB, the new revenue sharing formula that gave 22 per cent to the BCCI initially and another four percent after all expenses were paid could not have come about,’’ said an official.

On the Reforms in Cricket report, the BCCI is rankled by the proposal to revise the arrangement with the global media rights holder (Star India), especially on the count of restricting advertisements to the long and short intervals. The Lodha report says: “Commerce has also overtaken the enjoyment of the sport with advertisements continuing many a time, even after the first ball and again commencing even before the last ball of the over is played, thereby interrupting the full and proper broadcast of the game. Regardless of the wicket that has fallen, century having been hit or other momentous event, full liberty is granted to maximise the broadcaster’s income by cutting away to a commercial, thereby robbing sport of its most attractive attribute – emotion. It is recommended that all existing contracts for international Test & One-Day matches be revised and new ones ensure that only breaks taken by both teams for drinks, lunch and tea will permit the broadcast to be interrupted with advertisements, as is the practice internationally. Also, the entire space of the screen during the broadcast will be dedicated to the display of the game, save for a small sponsor logo or sign.’’

The Board feels that there is a possibility of the broadcast rights revenue from a Test match (as of now Rs. 43 crore) drop to a low of Rs. 6 crore as it feels that no one sees television during lunch and tea breaks and also that the broadcaster finds it difficult to get advertisements for Test matches.

There SGM is likely to spend time on the following recommendations: They are (1) one state, one vote (2) a nine member apex council replacing the working committee (3) three-year tenure for the office bearers (4) vice president posts reduced from 5 to one (5) age barrier of 70 for elected posts (6) preventing ministers and bureaucrats from contesting elections (7) appointment of professional managers (8) conflict of interest (9) funding the players association (10) Services, Railways, All India Universities, Cricket Club of India, National Cricket Club, Kolkata being made associate members without voting rights and also only one Ranji Trophy playing team from Maharashtra and Gujarat being accorded the full member status (11) proposal to give full membership with voting rights to Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram, Nagaland, Bihar and Chattisgarh (12) and a number of other issues related to cricketing and non-cricketing aspects.

The Lodha committee report has said: “The running of an organisation like the BCCI requires a clear functioning structure with well defined ideas to be executed. The present Working Committee of the BCCI consisting of the various Office bearers elected by the BCCI and other representatives of the Members do not have any managerial expertise and requisite experience to run BCCI in a professional manner. Specialists and professionals are usually engaged in an ad-hoc manner without any terms and tenures as would be expected with any billion dollar entity. It continues to ensure a strong say for the Full Members, as it provides that two-thirds’ strength on the Council is made up of their representatives.’’