Lodha Committee Report: Restoring the glory of the game
To put an end to excesses and imbalances, corruption and red tape, all of which have harmed the game, the Lodha committee has examined reforms in the working of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to make its functioning transparent.
What is the Lodha committee?
The Lodha committee was formed in January, 2015 by the Supreme Court after the Mudgal committee report on IPL.
In its earlier report in July 2015, the Lodha committee delivered its judgement by banning Meiyappan and Kundra for life and suspending the owners of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for 2 years.
Let’s analyse the report under various dimensions
The Lodha Committee has suggested sweeping reforms in the structuring and governance of cricket in the country.
Structural Reforms: A major overhaul
- The committee recommended that a 9-member apex council replace the 14-member BCCI working committee.
- Each of these office-bearers has a three-year term and can contest for a maximum three terms.
- The Lodha Committee also calls for dividing the governance into two parts: cricketing and non-cricketing.
The non-cricketing management will be handled by 6 professional managers headed by a CEO, and the cricket matters like selection, coaching and performance evaluation should be left to the players
Organisation & Office-bearers: Restrictions imposed
- Each of these office-bearers has a 3-year term and can contest for a maximum three terms.
- There will be a mandatory cooling off period after each term. Therefore, no office-bearer can hold office consecutively in a row.
- No BCCI office-bearer can be Minister or government servant.
State Cricket Associations: One Vote/State
The Committee recommended that one association should represent an entire state and only one vote per state.
Indian Premier League: Maintain distance
- It recommends separate governing bodies for the IPL and BCCI.
- There should be a 15-day gap between IPL season and national calender.
Betting: Legalize it
- It made a strong recommendation to lawmakers to legalise betting in cricket for all except cricket players, officials and administrators.
- The players and others banned officials should disclose their assets to BCCI in a measure to ensure that they do not bet.
Betting is a $ 400 billion phenomenon practised across the globe and lawmakers in India should enact laws to legalise it.
Fixing: Criminalize it
The committee said that match-and spot-fixing should be made a criminal offence.
Conflict of Interest & Corruption
- One individual hold only one post in cricket administration. The office-bearers would have to choose between positions in respective state associations and the parent body.
- A former High Court judge should be appointed as ethics officer by the BCCI to administer issues relating to conflict of interest, misdemeanour and corruption.
- A former Supreme Court judge should be appointed ombudsman to resolve internal disputes.
Transparency: Bringing RTI to BCCI
It recommended that the Legislature must seriously consider bringing BCCI within the purview of the RTI Act
Securing player’s interest
- It recommended the setting up of a Players’ Association to safeguard the interests of the cricketers.
- The report said players that are the driving force of the game, but they had been reduced to the status of employees and subordinates of those governing the game.
- The idea is to give players voice, use their expertise and skills for the development and betterment of the game
Women Cricket: Often ignored by BCCI
The Women’s Cricket Committee to be formed to exclusively pay attention to this much ignored department, along with Women’s Selection Committee.
The proposed measures could radically alter the way the BCCI functions as well as vastly improve its public image and impart much-needed credibility.
Published with inputs from Pushpendra