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New innings for BCCI

New innings  for BCCI
The Supreme Court may have finally brought curtains down on the controversy surrounding the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) by appointing a committee of administrators (COA) to run the affairs of the cash-rich body. The Supreme Court in its order appointed former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai as head of the committee, which would now supervise the functioning of the sporting body which has so far evaded any kind of public control and scrutiny, which forced the Apex Court's intervention. Other three members of the committee of administrators are famous cricket historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) and former Indian women cricket captain Diana Edulji. This committee would interact with Rahul Johri, CEO of BCCI, for supervision and functioning of the cricket board. All the members of the committee are people with impeccable reputation and their functioning should augur well for the game in the country.

The Supreme Court order came after a three-years-long legal proceeding during which the Apex Court granted numerous opportunity to BCCI and state cricket associations to bring reforms in cricket administration. The Court has now finally entrusted the task to inject transparency and accountability in cricket management to the panel. The court started hearing the case on cricket reform in March 2014 when the allegation of betting and spot-fixing in IPL 2013 came to light. The SC expanded the ambit of the hearing and appointed Justice R M Lodha committee to overhaul the cricket administration in the country. The Apex Court on July 18 last year ordered a comprehensive revamp of the BCCI on the recommendations of Justice Lodha Committee. It passed a slew of direction to bring reform in cricket administration by barring ministers and bureaucrats from the board and setting an age limit of 70 years for office-bearers. It also directed implementation on one-state-one-vote principle. While constituting the COA, the Apex Court judges kept in mind to keep the autonomy of the cricket body intact, rejecting Centre's request to appoint Secretary of Sports Ministry as the member of the committee. Following his appointment, Rai used a cricketing term to describe position. He said, "I am a true lover of the game of cricket. My role is that of a night-watchman in a sense that we need to put in place good governance, good system, and structure to ensure a smooth transition to an elected body which in future will bring about good administration in BCCI."

Rai as a follower of the game would also recall that on many occasions the night watchmen have played a crucial role for their respective teams. In ensuring a smooth transition, contribution of other committee members would also be important especially that of the woman member Diana Edulji. The former Indian women cricket team captain comes with the load of experience of having managed more than 40 teams of the Indian Railways, where she was employed. Another area where Edulji wants to focus is on the formation of a potent Players' Association that will enable the cricketers both male and female of all age-groups under the aegis of BCCI to raise their concerns. These veterans have a huge responsibility at hand and their contribution can make or mar the most loved game in the country.
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