Eleven state cricket associations met in Mumbai on Thursday to discuss the way forward in implementing the reforms recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee. It was an unofficial meeting initiated by a current office-bearer and an Indian Premier League official.
In May 2013, the Delhi Police arrested three players, S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, and Ajit Chandila of the Rajasthan Royals on charges of spot-fixing. Gurunath Meiyappan, Team Principal of the Chennai Super Kings and son-in-law of BCCI Chief N Srinivasan was then arrested for thorough questioning by the BCCI. The case had brought to light a web of connection between players, bookies, team owners and administrators that were involved in financial misappropriation.
In July 2015, the Supreme Court committee headed by RM Lodha suspended the owners of Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from the Indian Premier League cricket tournament for a period of two years for alleged involvement in the betting scandal. This was one of the few rulings that the Lodha commission passed in direct relation to the incidents in 2013.
The Supreme Court then set up some terms and conditions for the Indian board and the state boards to follow and installed a Committee of Administrators (CoA) to oversee the entire change. However, they were unanimously rejected by most of the members and they decided to file an affidavit in the Supreme Court opposing the Lodha
11 state associations reps held an 'informal' meeting that was chaired by acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Chaudhary. Board treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary, Veteran administrators N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah weren’t part of the meetings as the trio were deemed unfit to be a part of the board as the Lodha Commission recommended so.
"We want to follow Lodha reforms, except the two-three points which aren't acceptable to us. We are ready to accept the 70-year age cap and the nine-year tenure clause for the BCCI office-bearers. However, we aren't ready to accept the one-state-one vote, cooling off period, and the three instead of five selectors' clause," a senior BCCI member who attended the meeting told TOI.
With no official comment as of yet on the matter at hand, speculation was rife regarding the possible outcome of the meeting. Another senior BCCI member contradicted the earlier statement and sounded rather pessimistic over the chances of a successful outcome as he said,
"The purpose of this exercise is to make Shukla the BCCI president, Amitabh Chaudhary the secretary, and the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) treasurer Murali Pantula (who was present at the meeting) the Board treasurer when the Board elections happen."
"In Thursday's meeting, there were just four-five 'voters' whom they can reliably count upon in the polls. There are only five votes that they can count as reliable — Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Assam, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. The other associations may have attended the meeting, but may not support them when the time comes," he added.
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