Call it pressure created by Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA), or fear of facing the court’s ire, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India-appointed seven-member committee on Saturday has decided to fall in line with the Justice RM Lodha panel recommendations, but with one last attempt to approach Apex court for ‘finer adjustments’.
The seven-member committee, comprising Rajiv Shukla (chairman), TC Mathew, Naba Bhattacharjee, Jay Shah, Anirudh Chaudhry, Sourav Ganguly, and Amitabh Choudhary, met for the first time in Delhi.
DNA has learnt BCCI is likely to file an affidavit before July 14, the next date of hearing in the SC. The affidavit will state that “all SC recommendations are hearby acceptable to us, but please give us a passionate hearing on few of our genuine concerns”.
The first and foremost concern was adhering to the 70-year age clause. Though, last-minute special invitee Niranjan Shah tried to present his arguments regarding contesting this clause, his views were ignored.
“He (Shah) was only inducted after pressure from a certain camp (read Srinivasan). His views or his presence had no meaning for the others,” a senior BCCI official told DNA.
Former India skipper and president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Ganguly was present through video conferencing from London.
The second point was the ‘cooling off period between two three-year terms’. This too was discussed. It was decided to go back to the SC with a request ‘to make it a straight nine’, which means allowing three straight terms in both states as well as in BCCI.
“There can’t be an effective administration by any individual or a group in a limited time span of three years. Therefore, we are going to request the Hon’ble court to make it straight three terms like any other democratic election,” was the general consensus.
This particular order can force Ganguly to leave his CAB post, and go into the cooling off, if the SC bench decides to stick to the original judgement.
Some members did discuss about making it a 12-year tenure on the footsteps of National Sports Code, but this was rejected keeping in mind the ‘tone of SC orders’.
The contentious issue of ‘one state, one vote’ was also agreed upon, but with slight tweak in order to carry on with the cricket legacy. It was decided to plead with the Apex court to not do away with multiple voting rights of few states as well as of organisations.
To understand it better, Maharashtra and Gujarat should be allowed to have three votes each while Railways and Services should continue to exercise their voting rights because of the fact that they have been part of regular Ranji Trophy circuit all along.
“Those who have been representing Ranji teams and have contributed immensely in the progress of cricket in India should be allowed to have a say in the BCCI affairs and thus should be allotted a vote like it has always been the case,” reasoned the senior official.
The issue of All India Universities can therefore be left up to the wisdom of the Court. Whereas, BCCI understands that talking about non-identities like Cricket Club of India (CCI) or National Sports Club (NSC) would be like waste of time in the court room.
The cricket board is further going to plead before the SC that “allowing the new Ranji Trophy teams (from Northeast of Bihar or Uttarakhand) should be left to the wisdom of BCCI’s expert committee to ensure a minimum standard of competence.
“The process has to be followed before induction of any new team. We all agree to have teams from all states, but then the level of competence has to be judged and brought up to a certain level. For example, a particular state may take a year to reach that level while the other may need three years to do so,” added the official.
For the record, no official minutes were recorded on Saturday but BCCI’s acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has decided to hold second and most likely final committee meeting on July 7 in Mumbai. If everything goes as per the plan then BCCI committee is likely to come up with a final draft in the form of an affidavit to be filed before July 14 hearing.