If the Honourable Supreme Court judges feel that the BCCI could do well under retired judges, I wish them all the best. I am sure cricket will do better under their guidance.Anurag Thakur (after being removed as BCCI President by the SC)
On 2 January 2017, Anurag Thakur was removed as the BCCI President by the Supreme Court for his failure to implement the Lodha Committee Recommendations.
More than six months have passed since, but more importantly over than a year has passed since the Supreme Court ordered the BCCI to implement the Lodha Reforms. Apart from losing their President, the Indian cricket board has, alas, seen no change. The pushback continues.
What the BCCI, however, has been seen are mounting problems. Here are just a few:
- Former India coach Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan have been dragged through completely avoidable controversies. If Kumble was not to be retained, a tough decision could be made right at the start of the murmurs of differences in the camp.
- If the immense knowledge Dravid and Zaheer bring to the table was not needed, why were they even named as consultants to the Indian cricket team?
- Former BCCI President N Srinivasan has attended two BCCI SGMs, despite being barred by the Supreme Court from being involved in any BCCI activities.
- The Indian cricket board’s ICC revenue in the current cycle has been reduced to 405 million dollars, from the earlier – approved – 570 million.
- Most important of them all, the Lodha Reforms have not been implemented. An entire year after the Supreme Court gave the board a six month deadline to make it happen.
Again, with just an acting President in place, all the uncertainties and trouble in the board could be zeroed-in on the lack of leadership. Instead of one man calling the shots, what the BCCI have now are a handful of committees set up to make a call on every new conundrum that presents itself.
Here are a few committees that have been in focus of late:
- Immediately after Anurag Thakur’s sacking, the Supreme Court formed the CoA (Committee of Administrators). It was a four-member panel put in place to make the BCCI implement the changes recommended by the Lodha Report. Seven months since, two of its members have resigned (one making public his resignation letter). None of the reforms though have been accepted by the BCCI’s members.
- There is also the CAC, the BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman. Formed in 2015, this committee’s main role is to make cricketing decisions of the BCCI, decisions that are not made by the other committees already present in the board. Of late, the CAC has mostly been in focus for the coach controversy surrounding Kumble, Virat and Ravi Shastri.
- There is also currently a four-member panel set up to decide the salary of Ravi Shastri and his support staff.
- My favorite though – is a committee that was set up before BCCI’s 14 July hearing in the Supreme Court. This new panel’s job was to zero in on the few problem points in the Lodha report to present before the apex court. In the committee, though, was Niranjan Shah a man who flouts all the guidelines of the report! He’s over 70 years of age, has spent 40 years as a cricket administrator.
How all these committees mess things up even further can be seen in the recent coach controversy that left legends like Kumble, Dravid and Zaheer Khan out in the cold.
First everyone kept denying even the presence of a problem. Then Virat refused to let “headmaster” Kumble stay. CAC was asked to broker peace. Kumble had enough, and he walked out.
Then CAC interviewed 5 people and said they would wait to consult Virat before making an announcement. But the CoA demanded the CAC make an announcement the next day. So, Shastri was named head coach and Zaheer was named bowling consultant and Dravid was to be the batting consultant for overseas tours. This though, did not suit Shastri.
He wanted his old bowling coach/support staff colleague Bharat Arun instead of Zaheer. He pushed back. One week later, he is the coach, Bharat Arun is the bowling coach and there is no word on Zaheer and Dravid.
So we return, right back, in one big circle, to the beginning of this piece.
Is the BCCI being run better in the absence of a President? Can the Lodha Recommendations be implemented in the absence of a power figure?
Not making a point for Thakur here though. I’m not.
The point is that even seven months after the BCCI President was removed and the CoA was put in place, the primary target has not been achieved. State Unites continue to pushback against the implementation of Lodha Committee Reforms. Indian cricket continues to suffer.
Why not elect a fresh President then?
Because in a testiment of the merry-go-round that is the BCCI vs Lodha Reforms vs CoA, elections for a new President cannot be held till the board implements the Lodha reforms and a new constitution is put in place.