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Fixing cricket

The courts have little patience for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) apathy. On Thursday, the apex court passed a stern message to BCCI asking it to “fall in line” with the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha Committee which has suggested a massive restructuring of the country’s apex cricket body. The court went on to say that the recommendations are “straight, rational and understandable” and “deserve respect” and “there is no reason to disagree with the committee” which has the most “illuminated and respected members of the legal community”. While four weeks time was granted to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to respond on the implementation of the recommendations of the Lodha Committee, the court made it clear that since ample opportunity was given to all stakeholders over a long period and their views were taken into consideration before preparing the final report, there should not be any difficulty in accepting the recommendations. Some of the major recommendations of the committee include, debarring those accused of corruption or those holding government office from assuming posts within the BCCI, forming a players association that would have a role in the cricket body’s governing council, having only one cricket association per state as an affiliate of BCCI, bringing the cricket body under the ambit of the RTI, legalising sports betting and limiting the number of terms an office-bearer can hold to three (including two consecutive terms), among others. However, these recommendations are neither new nor revolutionary. Under the National Sports Development Bill of 2013, brought in by the UPA government, such recommendations had found their way into a common law governing sporting bodies across India. In fact, the UPA government had drafted a law to prevent sporting fraud. However, the National Sports Development Bill never saw  light of day due to vested interests in the UPA government itself. Suffice to say, Indian cricket is a multi-party politician dominated racket.
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