October 17, 2016 1:41:59 am
THE SUPREME Court is likely to appoint a new panel of administrators to take over the functioning of Indian cricket on Monday.
On Saturday, during a special general body meeting of the BCCI that was called to discuss the possibility of implementing the reforms recommended by the RM Lodha committee and directed by the apex court, the BCCI reiterated their stand that the members stood united and the call to not accept the recommendations in totality was unanimous. This despite fissures beginning to appear in the board’s unity with a few associations like Vidarbha, Tripura and Rajasthan going ahead and accepting all the Lodha reforms unilaterally and Hyderabad Cricket Association pledging compliance in an undertaking to a lower court.
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The SC has already frozen the cricket board’s fund transfer to its state units. Several state bodies have written to the BCCI about how lack of funds will affect their domestic cricket but many heavyweight associations are playing possum and have chosen to wait for the order before making their next move.
During the October 6 hearing Gopal Subramanium, a senior lawyer and amicus curiae, said that the new administrators should be of “impeccable stature and integrity” without any criterion attached. So, if the court rules in favour of appointing an independent panel of administrators, the members could be from inside or outside the cricket set-up.
The BCCI though are maintaining a rigid stance ahead of the hearing and continue to put the onus of not complying with the Court’s orders on their members.
“As per the Societies Act, we require a three-fourths majority to amend our constitution. If the members don’t agree, what can we do? If the Supreme Court gives us the immunity to pass the resolutions without a three-fourths majority, we will do it right away,” BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke told The Indian Express.
“Tomorrow, Kapil Sibal will be arguing our points on similar lines. During our meeting, the members have clearly stated that their voting is not based on whether the grants due to them (from the BCCI) are paid or not, but voting is based on principle and facts, and the practical difficulties in accepting the Lodha Committee recommendations in toto,” he added.
The Supreme Court has also directed BCCI president Anurag Thakur to file a personal affidavit about his conversation with the ICC on government interference. The ICC chief executive David Richardson had been quoted as saying last month that Thakur “verbally requested” the world body chief Shashank Manohar to write a letter to the BCCI, citing the Lodha panel reforms of appointing a government watchdog – the CAG – and whether it would amount to government interference. It is learnt that the BCCI president will deny any formal or informal approach.
“When Manohar was the BCCI president, he settled our affidavits before the court that mentioned the proposed appointment of the CAG’s nominee and how it would amount to a government official’s representation in the board. Manohar is now the independent chairman of the ICC, so Thakur only asked for a clarification,” said a BCCI source.
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