It’s a new dawn for Indian cricket administration! The Supreme Court of India delivered yesterday its final (well, almost given our appeals process…) verdict on the implementation of the Lodha Committee report. Highlights of the Supreme Court’s decision are below.
1. BCCI office bearers
The Court ruled on a number of points:
- The Supreme Court has confirmed that the BCCI big wigs must be below 70 years of age. Srini Mama (71), Niranjan Shah (72) and Sharad Pawar (75) will be ruled out from being office bearers.
- No ministers or civil servants can hold offices in the BCCI. An interesting one, given that the BCCI seems to be arguing that the Supreme Court (being an organ of the state) interfering in its affairs will lead to its suspension from the ICC. Surely having government officials within its ranks would be seen as a greater problem by the ICC?
- No one person can simultaneously hold office at the BCCI and state association level.
- Terms of office limited to three years. No consecutive terms. No more than three terms.
2. One state – one vote
Each state will only have one vote at BCCI elections. This will affect states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh as each of these has more than one cricketing association, which previously had its own vote. This vote will now be shared on a rotational basis. Railways and Services will lose their vote altogether. This change has the potential to completely change the politics of the board and it seeks to break the stranglehold these states have in the politics of the board.
3. Legalisation of betting
It was probably quite strange to expect the Supreme Court to make law on this point anyway. Legalisation of cricket betting in India remains something the Parliament must decide upon.
4. Right to information
This was rejected on the same basis as the legalisation of betting. Although the Court previously stated that while the BCCI is autonomous it discharges a public function, the Court deferred to Parliament in this regard as the RTI clearly defines what a “public authority” is (it requires a certain level of governmental financing and control). Bringing the BCCI under the RTI would require the BCCI to provide information to members of the public and become accountable under Anti-Doping rules.
5. Limit on ad revenue
The Court did not mandate restrictions on advertisements after, before or during overs. The richest board in the world will continue to spin money from TV at the expense of our viewing experience!
The BCCI has six months to implement the Court’s order. Watch this space!