It has quickly returned to business as usual for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The Committee of Administrators is history, the administrators are back in charge, and their first order of the day has been to try and tweak the new constitution back to its old form. The development has not gone down well with Justice (retd) RM Lodha, the architect of the reforms that led to a new constitution for the BCCI.
Sourav Ganguly never saw eye-to-eye with the CoA but as he took over the reins at the BCCI, many – including CoA chairman Vinod Rai – felt his experience as a former India cricketer would perhaps allow him to rise above the politics of the board.
However, on December 1, the Ganguly-led board, in its first Annual General Meeting after the reforms and with a newly elected body, suggested major amendments to the constitution adopted last year.
Among the many changes suggested, the board wants to do away with the “cooling-off” period of three years after six years as an office-bearer, dilute the conflict of interest clauses, and put more power in the hands of the board secretary.
In an interview with Hindustan Times, Justice Lodha called the move unfortunate.
“It’s very unfortunate. I thought a cricketer at the helm of affairs will understand that it was only our reforms which brought him to this position,” Lodha said. “If the earlier system was in vogue, perhaps no cricketer could have ever dreamt of heading a body like the BCCI. The way the politics is played in cricket administration, I don’t think any cricketer would have been able to get this position but for these reforms.”
Lodha also felt that those in charge now should “respect the reforms and try to fully implement them, instead of changing them.”
Under the current constitution, Ganguly’s term would have lasted just 10 months. The amendment will allow him, and also BCCI secretary Jay Shah to get an extension.
The decision, though, will need to be approved by the Supreme Court.