SC indicates it will appoint 'administrators' to run cricket

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said the court has found the present crop of BCCI administrators, including Board president and BJP MP Anurag Thakur "totally incapable" of compliance to the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee reforms.

Former cricketer Mohinder Amarnath's name along with the name of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai were suggested in the hour-long hearing.   -  The Hindu Photo Library

The Supreme Court on Thursday indicated that it will appoint “administrators” in place of the current top bosses of the BCCI to run cricket in India.

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said the court has found the present crop of BCCI administrators, including Board president and BJP MP Anurag Thakur “totally incapable” of compliance to the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee reforms.

Names of former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai and cricketer Mohinder Amarnath were suggested in the hour-long hearing. However, the BCCI counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, though refusing to name any administrators, strongly objected to the Lodha Committee's suggestion to appoint former Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai.

“Don't force me to spell out why. He has several controversies in his name. The Ishrat Jahan case...” Mr. Sibal said cryptically.

Mr. Sibal submitted that such a step to appoint persons who have no “idea” of running cricket will be to the future detriment of the game.

“We will not challenge the intentions of the recommendations (Lodha Committee's), but you should give us the freedom of expression to disagree with you. We have our right to express our opinion that what the Supreme Court is doing is wrong and is not good for the country,” Mr. Sibal submitted for the Board.

"You cannot say that now after our judgment,” Chief Justice Thakur retorted. The Chief Justice was referring to the July 18, 2016 judgment of the apex court upholding the Lodha Committee recommendations to reform cricket administration and directing the Board and its State members to fall in line.

In the hearing, amicus curiae and senior advocate Gopal Subramanium referred to how the BCCI president Anurag Thakur and the Board secretary Ajay Shirke have both conveyed their “incapability” to extract compliance of the July 18 judgment from State cricket associations.

“The smokescreen is over. It is crystal clear now that both Anurag Thakur and Ajay Shirke cannot do anything though armed with a Supreme Court order. If this is his (Thakur) ability to run the Board, better he steps down,” Mr. Subramanium submitted.