The present tussle between the Lodha Panel and BCCI is perhaps the greatest example of orchestrated adamancy of an office to abide by the law. The office here may not a public one, but it rests on the popularity of a popular sport that is nothing without the public. This makes BCCI bound to abide by every bit of legality in its proceedings apart from being an office for profit. Especially, when their activities for profit narrows down to making Gentlemen play with emotions, love and devotion of their admirers.
The ongoing fray between BCCI and Lodha panel has yet not become a trending topic. Also, it has not received adequate media coverage. Seems Indian media have better issues to run after, like cow vigilantes and popular sex scandals of politicians. The suggestions from Lodha Panel would become a year old after a couple of months and still BCCI has not undergone any palpable changes. Furthermore, the Board appointed former Chief Justice of India, Markandey Katju, to fight against the reforms by Lodha Committee. Now a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is fighting against the Committee formed by another Former Chief Justice under the jurisdiction of the same Supreme Court. Is it not another "this happens only in India" example?
The appointment of a person like Katju, who is influential enough in political as well as the judicial circuit of the country, is a power showdown by BCCI through its wealth. There is no good information about how much Katju is concerned about the much needed reformation of the Cricket administration of the country, but his professionalism is apparent enough as an advocate who has the right to even take the side of the Devil at the courthouse. Remaining true to his profession, he has rightly challenged the Lodha Recommendation as something that cannot be implemented because they are "illegal and unconstitutional." It is, however, interesting that Katju's challenge came after the Supreme Court has given a dateline of six months to BCCI for implementing the recommendations. The former Chief Justice just made a mockery of the very Institution, the emblem of Law and Justice in India, the Supreme Court that made him who he is today.
BCCI being adamant this long to a verdict by the Supreme Court can be also viewed as its political prowess. Cricket in India has been under the control of politicians and civil bureaucrats for long. The president, Anurag Thakur is a member of Lok Sabha and is the son of former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He was, of course, a cricketer, but his stance as the president of BCCI is backed by his stature as a politically powerful person rather than a cricketer. The reason is, there are many ex-cricketers in India who are certainly more qualified than Mr. Thakur to be the President of BCCI. The former president of BCCI, who is now the Chairman of ICC, had no record as a cricketer throughout his entire career. Shashank Manohar was a Lawyer who became "a prominent Cricket Administrator" only after his stint as the BCCI president. The stints when the Board faced the worst charges of corruption and scandals.
But, Mr. Manohar is now quite cozy as the ICC chairman and has parted with BCCI. Lately, the ICC had made it clear that Lodha issue is a "domestic affair of a member country" and ICC is reluctant to interfere. It was after the BCCI President verbally ask ICC to write a letter to BCCI on the matter of government interference in BCCI. In reply, Mr. Manoher said that BCCI should officially request them to interfere. In further response, ICC Chief David Richardson said that Mr. Manohar is not prepared "to put ICC in a position where it could be perceived as challenging the authority of Supreme Court of India."
Thus, the course of incidents for BCCI seems to move against the waves. While, the issue is yet to get a political hue, as Mr. Thakur represents the ruling party at the center, there is no certainty that the oppositions would not make it a political agenda. Managing the media or an advocate like Katju can be done with bank balances, but it would be certainly difficult to buy political parties, even if it becomes a necessity. Above all, the best part can be played only by the Ex-Cricketers of the country and the ardent Fans, who are the right contender of all credits for making cricket famous in the country. The face-off between BCCI and Lodha Committee has been going on since eight months. It is certainly the longest format in cricket till now.
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