BCCI AGM to go slow on reversing Lodha reforms

In an Apex Council meeting here on Saturday, chaired by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, a decision was taken to dilute the powers of the CEO and give the day-to-day signing authority to the secretary of the board. All eyes are now on Sunday’s AGM and Item H (3) of the agenda which calls ‘To discuss and pass with or without modifications the proposed amendments to the Rules and Regulations of the BCCI.’ The other crucial point of the agenda is Item (G) that deals with ‘Appointment of the Cricket Committees and Standing Committees as mentioned in Rules 26 and 25 respectively.’

The cricket committees include the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) and the national selection committee, whose appointment the constitution says is the prerogative of the CAC. Earlier in the day, there was an informal meeting of the BCCI top brass to discuss the future of the national selection committee. Also being considered is the possibility of entrusting VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar with CAC responsibilities. How that can be done given the current conflict of interest guidelines in place is open to debate.

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The majority within the board feels legal boundaries shouldn’t be crossed. The AGM may in principle agree to amend the constitution but it would ultimately need the sanction of the Supreme Court to take effect. “The general body may authorise the president and the secretary to appoint various sub-committees until the court hears the BCCI view,” a top board official said. If there is unanimity over ratifying the amendments as expected, it opens the door for Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah and joint-secretary Jayesh George to complete their three- year terms and escape the cooling-off clause for now.

There is also an amendment proposed to clear the decks for former president N Srinivasan to represent the board at the International Cricket Council (ICC) after relaxation of Rule 6.4. Above all, the BCCI wants to regain its autonomy and ratify the amendment, which does not compel them to seek the court’s permission to make any future constitutional amendments.

But it’s unlikely the BCCI will bulldoze the reforms and appoint committees at the AGM based on amendments and invite the court’s wrath. “We have abided by the law of the land. Given the practical difficulties we have faced, we want to represent ourselves. With the leave of the court, if the court agrees with us, they may approve it. If not, we will have to go by whatever is agreed upon,” said BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal.

The AGM will also scrutinise accounts of the last three years when CoA was at the helm. A new ombudsman and ethics officer will be appointed. A discussion on conflict of interest guidelines that restrict a vast line of talent from entering administration, is also likely to be taken up by the chair.

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