The Supreme Court verdict: The key points, the objections, and the action taken

The Supreme Court on Thursday accepted the majority of the Lodha Committee's recommendations on a new constitution for the BCCI. Here are the key takeaways, with the original recommendations from the Lodha Committee, the BCCI's objections, the court's verdict and rationale.


The new BCCI constitution explained

The Supreme Court approved a new constitution for the BCCI on Thursday and here Raunak Kapoor picks out the major talking points

Cooling-off period

The original recommendation

BCCI office bearers can serve one term lasting three years either at a state association or the BCCI followed by a mandatory cooling-off period of three years. The office bearer can serve a maximum of three such terms, which means nine years regardless of the post held at the state association or BCCI.

The reason

Authority cannot be concentrated in the hands of one or a limited group of individuals because it could lead to self-perpetuation and vested interests if there was no break in their tenure.

The BCCI objection

If the individual has gained experience by working in a particular post for three years, the mandatory three-year break prevents the person, who has "enriched" himself", from utilising all the learnings and executing them in the job.

The verdict

Despite agreeing with the importance of the cooling-off period, the mandatory break of three years will come into play after the individual has served two consecutive terms lasting six years. "The cooling off period would apply after an individual holds two successive terms in office either in the BCCI, or in any state association or a combination of the two," the court said.

"For instance, if an office bearer has held office for two consecutive terms in any post in a state association, such an individual must face a cooling off period of three years. Likewise, if an individual has held any post as an office bearer of the BCCI for a total period of six years in succession, the individual must have a cooling off period of three years before seeking election again either to the BCCI or to a state association. The cooling off period would apply also in a situation where an individual holds a post for one term in a state association followed by a post in the BCCI successively or vice versa."

The office bearer can serve a total of nine years only regardless of the post(s) he holds at the BCCI or a state association. And once he has served his term, the individual cannot "circumvent" the rules and return to office as a member of any committee.

The court's reasoning

"Cooling off must be accepted as a means to prevent a few individuals from regarding the administration of cricket as a personal turf," the court said. "The game will be better off without cricketing oligopolies."

One state one vote

The recommendation

The BCCI membership will be split into two types: Full and Associate. Full Members have voting rights, Associates do not. Both the Lodha Committee and the COA had approved that 30 states that can be Full Members and that every state will have only one vote.In states with multiple BCCI members - Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have associations from Maharashtra, Mumbai and Vidarbha, Gujarat, Saurashtra and Baroda - voting right would rotate on an annual basis.

Also, the Railways Sports Promotion Board, Services Sports Council Board, Association of Indian Universities, National Cricket Club (Kolkata) and Cricket Club of India (Mumbai) would not hold voting rights.

The reason

Territoriality was the determining factor to get Full Membership with the rest of the members being allotted Associate membership.

The objection

All the six associations of Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Saurashtra, Baroda and Vidarbha contested the recommendation, stating that each of them had made a "significant" contribution to Indian cricket historically. Not only have they enriched the domestic competitions like Ranji Trophy, but they have also produced international players for decades.

The verdict

Restore Full Membership status to the associations of Mumbai, Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Gujarat, Saurashtra and Baroda, with each of them getting a vote. Also retain Full Member status for Railways, Services and All India Universities, and allot them individual voting rights.

No BCCI membership in any form for the Cricket Club of India and the National Cricket Club, Kolkata because they do not field any teams in the domestic competitions.

The court's reasoning

The court agreed with the six state associations' argument that each had a "long and abiding history of nurturing talent" that contributed to the Indian cricket. "To utilise territoriality as a basis of exclusion is problematic because it ignores history and the contributions made by the above associations to the development of cricket and its popularity," the court said.

Selection panel

The recommendation

The selection panel for men's and junior cricket should comprise three members; the women's selection panel should have five people.

The reason

The Lodha Committee and the CoA felt that restricting the selection panel to three people was valid only because it could coordinate with the Cricket Talent Committee, which would carry out the work of scouting talent around the country. This way, although being "compact", the selection panel would have more authority.

The objection

With about 28 first-class teams to keep track of, the senior selectors have to monitor vast amount of cricket in addition to touring with the India A squad and the India squad. A selector travels 280 days in a year on average, so broadening the panel to include five people would make them more effective.

The verdict

All the three selection panels will comprise five people and the members on all panels would need to have been retired for five years. The eligibility criteria for each panel would vary though.

For the men's panel: the individual must have played at least seven Test matches or 30 first-class matches, or 10 ODIs and 20 first-class matches.

For the junior panel, members need to have played a minimum of 25 first-class matches, while for the women's panel, the individual needs to have played for India in order to be eligible.

The court's reasoning

Increasing the strength of the selection panels - men, junior, women - will help the selectors "carefully" evaluate the talent pool across the country across various age-groups.