The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appears to be in no mood to accede to the Supreme Court-led reforms and is set to fight the apex court till the very bitter end. In its last Working Committee meeting before its Annual General Body Meeting scheduled to be held on September 21, the BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke apprised the state associations about his meeting with the three-member panel headed by Justice Lodha on August 9.
The BCCI was given time till August 25 to file a “compliance report". The panel had given the cricket board an 11-point agenda to execute and act upon initially. The first set of these 11 points were to be completed by September 30, and the next one by October 15. BCCI President Anurag Thakur, however, refused to speak on the issue of compliances and instead said, “BCCI will explore all the legal options that are there with it.”
The BCCI defended its decision to seek legal advise of former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju and said Katju had given his view point based on his legal expertise. “We are not legal experts, Justice Katju is. He has given detailed review of the SC judgment based solely on legal view point,” said a top office bearer.
Katju, in his review of the SC verdict on Lodha Panel recommendations, had deemed them “unconstitutional and illegal”. He had also suggested that the BCCI file a review petition. The Working Committee on Monday was supposed to be briefed about Katju's report by Ajay Shirke.
Thakur didn't miss the opportunity to point out “outside interference in running of the game”—in this case, the Supreme Court. “I was attending the Asian Cricket Council meeting held over the last two days in Colombo. ACC noted the outside interference in the governance of the game in Nepal, Sri Lanka and India and expressed concerns over it.”
When asked whether any of the points were complied with by respective state associations till now, officials of various affiliated units sent the ball back in the BCCI court saying, “First let the BCCI comply, then we will comply.” Clearly, the debate was neither lengthy nor exhausting as the meeting got over within an hour and a half. “It was a cordial meeting and decisions were unanimous,” said Shirke with a smile, refusing to delve on the details related to compliances and discussions on the same. The brief media release issued by the BCCI post the meeting only said, “The Honorary Secretary of the BCCI, Mr. Ajay Shirke briefed the members on his meeting with the Justice Lodha Committee and also informed the house that BCCI has filed review petition in the Supreme Court.”
The audited statement of accounts for the year ending March 31, 2016 was approved by the board. The budget for the financial year 2016-17 was also approved. The finance sub committee of the BCCI, which presents the accounts, met ahead of the Working Committee meeting in the morning.
In a welcome move the daily allowance for the Under-19 boys' team and senior women's team was increased and fixed on par with the senior men's team. All of them will get 125 USD per day on international tours and an equivalent of 100 USD in the home series. Focusing on improving its presence in the North East, BCCI approved the proposed expenditure for the ground preparation, ground equipment and indoor academy for Meghalaya and Nagaland.