SC tells BCCI: Shape up or ship out

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has given an ultimatum to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to implement all the Lodha Committee recommendations to bring in more transparency in BCCI’s governance in its hearing on Thursday.

In a scathing observation, the apex court asked the BCCI to give an undertaking by Friday to shape up or ship out. “Stop wasting time. Give an undertaking that you will abide by the recommendations or we will pass an order,” Chief Justice of India TS Thakur said.

The Supreme Court order on Friday could either an extension of the deadline to implement all the Lodha panel reforms or form a committee that will supersede the current BCCI bosses and execute the reforms. A defiant and cornered BCCI is now looking for ways to get out of the mess.

The Supreme Court has also instructed the BCCI not to disburse funds to its affiliated units not willing to implement the Lodha Committee reforms. “Don’t disburse money to associations who are reluctant to be reformed. Why you are disbursing money in a hurry,” the court asked. The BCCI has transferred close to Rs 400 crore as infrastructure grant to its state units by September end.

The court also hinted that the BCCI was instigating the state units to oppose the Lodha reforms. “You are in the forefront of defiance giving leads to the state associations… you are trying to oppose the Lodha panel.”

BCCI has been dragging its feet on implementing the Lodha panel recommendations which were made binding on the Board on July 18 this year. The Board failed its first deadline on September 30 by which it had to implement the Memorandum of Association and Rules.

While it has cherry-picked a few reforms, the BCCI had been steadfastly opposing the Lodha committee’s one-state-one-vote proposal, age and tenure caps, saying it was governed by the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 and not a Supreme Court-appointed committee.

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