The Big Story: BCCI in trouble
India celebrated a resounding 246-run win over England in the second Test in Visakhapatnam on Monday and with it, a 1-0 lead in the ongoing five-match series. But the joy of the Board of Control for Cricket in India must have been short-lived.
By evening, the contents of the Justice Lodha Committee’s third status report on the implementation of its proposed reforms had emerged. It did not make for pretty reading. The Lodha Committee urged the Supreme Court, which is due to give a verdict on December 5 on BCCI’s non-implementation of the reforms, to disqualify all office-bearers of the Indian cricket body and its affiliated state associations with immediate effect and proposed that former Union home secretary GK Pillai be appointed to oversee the daily management of the BCCI.
If implemented, this would mean that some of Indian cricket’s most powerful men, which include BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke, would find themselves without a job at the world’s richest cricket. If this were to happen, the BCCI’s one main argument in this entire fracas – that the judiciary was overextending itself beyond its ambit – may actually gain credence. Journalist Shekhar Gupta even went as far as calling it the “nationalisation of cricket”.
When seen in the context of the entire battle, though, the decision does not seem quite so momentous. The BCCI-Lodha tussle has been fractious. The Indian cricket board has openly flouted the proposed norms and the incensed committee, in return, has threatened severe punishment. Rarely, though, have the threats been carried out: there were reports of the BCCI planning to cancel the India-New Zealand series in October but it went off without any hiccups. In a similar vein, the Lodha panel asked banks to stop disbursing BCCI funds to state associations, but a Supreme Court order later allowed the Rs 58.66 lakhs to be paid out to host the first India-England Test in Rajkot.
It ultimately all boils down to the Supreme Court’s keenly-awaited verdict on December 5. Everything that happens before that is all “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
- Salman Anees Soz in The Hindu says while the idea of fighting illicit money through demonetisation was a worthy objective to pursue, there was no road map yet to move towards a cashless society.
- Anjana Menon in The Economic Times argues that digital transactions should be incentivised and strict data protection systems should be in place to encourage people to move away from cash.
- Manuraj Shunmugasundaram in The Indian Express traces the history of the Dravidian movement, which celebrates its centenary this year.
Shoaib Daniyal reports from Uttar Pradesh on whether the demonetisation could help the Bharatiya Janata Party clinch the state in the upcoming elections.
“In the town of Ayodhya, the incumbent Samajwadi Party legislator Tej Narayan Pandey would not say that demonetisation would directly impact his party – a statement which would end up also being an admission of using illicit funds. But he did accept that the move would end up hurting campaign spending across the board. “The upcoming election will be low key,” says Pandey.”