After what seemed to be a never-ending wait, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is ready for a revamp. If the timeframe set by the Supreme Court is followed, the board should be headed for elections in October. Initially, there were cheers in the board that key points had been diluted. But what it has been asked to implement is still quite substantial. Apart from changing the administrative model, this will affect the powerplay the Lodha Commission wanted to free the system of.
Those in office for six years have to take a three-year cooling-off break, which means the arrival of a new set of officials. This is significant because the prime objective of the whole exercise was uprooting the practice of centralisation of authority, which came from the monopoly of plum posts. While there are other challenges like setting higher standards of transparency, accountability and operating through a professionally structured setup befitting a multi-million dollar enterprise, getting used to a world without a godfather might take time.
The BCCI has become so habituated to single masters that members are struggling to find six names whom they have to elect to the apex council. It shows how dependent the richest board had been on all-controlling individuals. Now that there is no choice thanks to the court order, the members have to lay the foundation of a system that ensures handover of the baton. Doing away with this unhealthy tradition is the most welcome development.
Also, the board should not be behave like the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association where the near and dear ones of those in power contested the recently-held elections. The BCCI officials face the task of handling a period of transition. Preliminary feedback suggests most of those running the state associations are relieved that the impasse which lasted for months is over. It’s up to them now to rise above individual interests. Unwillingness to make way for others, after all, is a widespread virus in Indian sports officialdom.