CHENNAI: Fear of losing what they have enjoyed for decades has crept into the ranks of BCCI, following recommendations of large scale restructuring by the Justice Lodha panel. Looking forward to the Supreme Court order on these, members are apprehensive and hoping that a situation to salvage something will emerge. None are sure how.
Primarily, the concern is about the one-state-one-vote suggestion and another that proposes institutions (Railways, Services, Universities) and non-playing units (CCI, Mumbai and NCC, Kolkata) be relegated to non-voter status. There are reservations also against the move to give more power to cricketers by inducting them in state associations.
Occupying strategic positions in electoral equations, almost all of the existing 30 affiliated units play crucial roles in choosing the men who run BCCI. Implementation of the relevant section will bring the number of voters down to 21, reduce the impact zonal units can make together apart from denying some of the units privileges they have got used to. Most of the teams in focus — Mumbai, Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Baroda — being important players complicates matters further.
“Rights the units have enjoyed for close to 80 years can’t be taken away just like that. If such recommendations are implemented, it’s possible that Tripura will be a full member and Mumbai an associate. Will cricket history be rewarded by that or is it practical? Several units in question have nurtured international cricketers and given livelihood to other players. Derecognising them isn’t the way to acknowledge their efforts. Don’t think this will ensure better governance,” a West Zone member told Express.
In theory, Mumbai can become a non-voting associate member if Maharashtra or Vidarbha are chosen as representative of the state. Assembled in Mumbai on Tuesday for the BCCI annual awards function, members discussed the recommendations, but couldn’t come up with a strategy. A special general meeting is expected, although it’s not yet clear whether it will happen before or after the Supreme Court passes an order based on the panel’s proposals.
For a unit head from South Zone, representation of former players in state bodies is another concern. “Cricketers will know better what cricketers require, but there are many other issues state associations have to deal with. That’s where administrators come into the picture. Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath ran the show in Karnataka for three years. That they didn’t get another term suggests there is work that can’t be done by cricketers. So we need a mix instead of an association run solely by cricketers.”
Amid whispers that some of the recommendations will be accepted, BCCI members are hoping for some space to bargain so that at least a part of what they have been enjoying remains with them. Before calling an SGM, finalising these points are certain to dominate talks in all BCCI gatherings.