Unperturbed by the Supreme Court’s ultimatum to the Indian cricket board to ‘fall in line’ and implement Justice Lodha panel-recommendations, the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) founder member Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) and former Test player Chandu Borde on Monday told the Supreme Court that none of the proposed major reforms in the report submitted by the Justice Lodha Committee was implementable.
PCA told the Supreme Court that their first reservation was the Lodha panel’s recommendation to prevent ministers and government servants from being part of the BCCI Management and also the proposal not to associate any one over the age of 70 with the Board affairs.
There was no provision under the Societies Registration Act to bar a person from holding office on the basis of age, it said. Borde argued that he was appointed as manager of the Indian Cricket Team at the age of 70 on the tour of England and that age cannot be a limiting factor of restriction, and the mental and physical fitness of the individual should be considered instead.
Both PCA and Borde moved the Supreme Court to oppose the denial of BCCI membership to ministers. The Constitution grants the right to citizens to join such bodies to pursue their interest in sports, religion, culture and art etc. They argued that the BCCI rules don’t allow ministers to ‘para-drop’ into Cricket management but instead only those with genuine contribution to cricket are elected by the BCCI.
PCA had strong objections to the formation of a players’ association, citing the experience of the West Indies. It said there the board and players’ association were constantly at loggerheads. It came to a bitter scenario where the players decided to opt out of the India tour midway because the Board could not pay their fees due to financial crisis. PCA strongly argued that such a scenario cannot be allowed to repeat in India.
A major fault in the recommendations according to Borde was the one state-one vote recommendation. This means that in a group of Mumbai, Maharashtra and Vidharbha, there will be only one vote and many cricket associations won’t get their represenation duly, likewise in Gujarat.
Both PCA and Borde also faulted the Lodha panel’s recommendation for limiting the number of selectors to three instead of present five. They argued that it is very difficult for the present five to watch every match around the country and spot talent, that job would be pratically impossible with three selectors.