Ajay Shirke (second from left), who was removed as the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Monday, said that they could not have done anything more differently to ensure that the Justice Lodha Committee’s recommendations were implemented. In an interview to The Hindu, he said: “The directive of the Lodha Committee was to call the [BCCI] members and get the new constitution adopted. But our members refused to adopt the constitution in its entirety.”
On November 6, the board had told the panel that they were unable to bring in the recommended reforms because of opposition from state associations. “Unless three-fourth of the member associations vote in favour of the proposal, the BCCI cannot implement the reforms as ordered by the Justice Lodha panel,” it had said in an affidavit.
“Now I am glad, in a way, that the court has taken it upon itself to get this implemented,” Shirke told The Hindu, adding that “ultimately, the deliverables will decide” whether ousting him and BCCI president Anurag Thakur from their posts would improve the administration of the board.
After he was removed as BCCI president, Thakur had said, “If Supreme Court feels the BCCI would do better under retired judges, then I wish them all the best.” Justice Lodha had welcomed the verdict, calling it the “logical consequence” in the months-long battle between his committee and the cricketing body and a “victory for the game of cricket”.
The two sides have been at loggerheads over a few recommendations, such as the one vote per state and one person per post rule, the age cap for office-bearers and the cooling-off period between tournaments. These reforms are expected to affect hundreds of state officials, because of which state associations are expected to file a string of review petitions in the court. “State associations are going to dig in their heels. It will be a long fight,” one such official told The New Indian Express.
Also, the review petitions, if filed, will be heard by a new bench as Chief Justice TS Thakur, who signed off on the order, retires on Tuesday.
The Lodha committee was formed after the spot-fixing and betting scandal emerged during the 2013 leg of the Indian Premier League. On October 6, the apex court had directed the BCCI to either implement the Lodha recommendations or face consequences. However, on October 15, the board had decided to oppose some of the “impractical” reforms suggested by the committee.