Justice Lodha: CoA more pious than the Pope

The former Supreme Court chief justice was critical of the CoA taking over the role of the government by demanding Pakistan's ouster from the ICC and suggesting India boycott its World Cup match against its neighbour.

As the architect of Indian cricket reforms, Lodha is baffled by the delay in the Supreme Court’s order being implemented.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Justice (retired) R. M. Lodha has taken strong exception to the Committee of Administrators of the Board of Control for Cricket in India venturing into areas beyond its brief.

As the architect of Indian cricket reforms, he is baffled by the delay in the Supreme Court’s order being implemented. “The order was passed on July 18, 2016, and it is sad it has not been implemented,” Lodha told Sportstar on Monday.

“It’s an old story,” Lodha said in reference to the manner in which the two CoA members – Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji – have taken their differences to public platforms. “They have made a spectacle of themselves with their public squabbles. The Supreme Court has itself observed this and appointed a third member in the CoA (lieutenant general Ravi Thodge) because things were not going smoothly. Now all decisions will be made by majority.”

On the three office-bearers of the board not relinquishing their posts despite registration of the new constitution, Lodha observed, “The problem is they have been told by the Supreme Court, but you are right. Their term had come to and end much before, and under the new constitution, they have no place in the administration. Maybe some issues are pending and allowing these office-bearers to continue. There is no apex body in place to oversee the governance of the BCCI. The ad hoc system is still continuing. They are taking shelter behind the Supreme Court order.”

Lodha was critical of the CoA taking over the role of the government by demanding the ouster of Pakistan from the International Cricket Council and suggesting India boycott its World Cup match against its neighbour, in the aftermath of one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were killed by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber in Pulwama on February 14.

“It is a political call, not the domain of the CoA. It is my firm view that sports bodies should not take political calls. It is the job of the government to decide if we should play against a particular nation or not. The CoA is trying to be more pious than the pope.”

The former justice warned the game could be headed for trouble. “It is fortunate that the game has not been impacted by whatever is happening in the cricket administration. But the day is not far when a lack of good governance may have a harmful impact on the game,” he noted.