Justice Lodha: BCCI a ‘fiefdom of a small group of officials’

Justice (Retd) R. M. Lodha is “baffled” at the recalcitrant ways of the Board, which continues to defy the implementation of reforms.

R. M. Lodha... “Is the BCCI being asked to shift Mount Everest?”   -  R. V. Moorthy

Justice (Retd) R. M. Lodha is “baffled” at the recalcitrant ways of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The persistent defiance of the Board to implement the Lodha reforms, despite a Supreme Court ruling to that effect, has left Lodha hoping “for the best” when apex court hears the case on August 18.

The vexatious issues that the BCCI finds “impracticable” to implement are tenure, cooling-off period and age cap. These are the core reforms which were accepted by the Supreme Court in its order on July 18, 2016.

“What is impracticable? Is the BCCI being asked to shift Mount Everest? There is nothing that is impracticable. If A goes then B comes. Everyone should get an opportunity. The order speaks for itself. As simple as that,” maintained Lodha in a conversation with Sportstar here on Saturday.

Lodha was clear that BCCI was procrastinating only to suit some of its officials. “There are just a few officials who think they can defy the Supreme Court. These officials are examples of nepotism that has led to the current state of affairs.”

In Lodha’s opinion, the “BCCI has become the fiefdom of a small group of officials. They are disturbed by the fact that power will vanish from their preserve if the reforms are implemented. It is a small group of men whose existence in cricket administration is threatened if the reforms are put in place.”

‘Self-interest’

Lodha continued, “It is the self-interest of some of these officials who don’t want to pass on the mantle to new administrators. Their monopoly stands challenged. The reforms are aimed at bringing transparency and democracy in sports governance. Our hopes of good cricket governance were ignited when we were given the task of suggesting the reforms. It is very clear that some individuals are opposing them because their monopoly stands to be erased.”

What in Lodha’s view was the way forward? “The BCCI has exhausted all avenues. All curative and review petitions have been heard and dismissed by the Supreme Court. It is in BCCI’s interest to fall in line because the Court’s ruling is binding. Very difficult for me to comprehend that core principles of good governance are being stalled by a small set of officials.”

Lodha concluded that time was fast running out for BCCI. “The final call will be taken by the Supreme Court. Not BCCI.”