The newly-appointed member in the Committee of Administrators (CoA), Lt. Gen. Ravi Thodge, outlined his assignment with top priority being “implementation” of the Supreme Court guidelines at the earliest.
“My mandate is clear. To implement the guidelines (with co-members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji) and ensure that the (BCCI) elections are held as early as possible. I have had just one meeting (on Friday) and will do my best,” Thodge told Sportstar .
A distinguished army officer, Thodge, who joined the Gorkha Regiment in 1977, was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal for his work in fighting insurgency in Punjab, Kashmir, North-East India and Sri Lanka. “I have an experience of almost 40 years with army and I’ll utilise it in cricket administration as well,” he said.
Thodge joins the CoA following resignations from Vikram Limaye and Ramachandra Guha, who were originally picked by Supreme Court to implement the Lodha Recommendations in the BCCI administration. Rai and Edulji have handled the BCCI affairs for nearly two years now.
“I don’t have any personal choices. I have to follow the mandate. I am sure my experience will come in handy. We have two distinguished members as my colleagues (in the CoA) and I am sure we are going to function well,” Thodge noted.
Conceding that he was taking charge at a crucial stage, when India was considering boycotting the World Cup match against Pakistan (on June 16), apart from putting pressure on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take a stand against countries supporting terrorist activities, Thodge observed, “Our view has been clearly conveyed in the statement issued on Friday. The cricketing community should sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates. The World Cup match is still more than three months away. We have time to discuss that.”
The appointment of Thodge is seen by BCCI observers as a firm step to put an end to the squabbling between Rai and Edulji on various issues. “His presence would also put a stop to the constant difference of opinions between Rai and Edulji. Their squabbling reflects poorly on Indian cricket,” said a veteran BCCI official.
On his association with cricket, Thodge said, “Most Indians are big fans of cricket. So am I. It is close to my heart too.”
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