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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley warns BCCI

Jaitley has made it clear that the BCCI could pay a price if it stuck to this approach.

Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. (Photo by Arun Sharma/ Hindustan Times )

BCCI is going through one of its tough times in handling the Lodha Committee recommendations. The prospect of the BCCI adopting the Lodha Committee recommendations is now stronger as Arun Jaitley, the Indian finance minister and an eminent lawyer, has asked the board to not confront Supreme Court, which approved the reforms last July. Arun Jaitley has served as BCCI Vice-president and President of the Delhi & District Cricket Association previously.

BCCI Meeting

On Saturday, in a meeting with members of the BCCI’s special committee- formed to identify the “critical points” in the implementation of the Supreme Court order which Jaitley asked them to focus on. The committee’s brief is to prepare a shortlist of recommendations the BCCI does not agree with, which can be then presented in the court. The court is scheduled to reconvene on July 14 to discuss the same.

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Those who attended the Saturday meeting included Amitabh Choudhury(BCCI secretary), Anirudh Chaudhry (BCCI treasurer), Rajiv Shukla (head of the committee) and Jay Shah(member of the committee).

“He said that the genuine points of difficulty, which cannot be more than three or four, can only be brought or submitted before the Supreme Court,” a board official privy to the meeting told ESPNcricinfo. “He also said that we should stick to those three or four recommendations, which court may also understand. The other things should be dropped. If the quantum of the disagreement is too large, your points will not be considered.”

Jaitley’s point of view

Jaitley has made it clear that the BCCI could pay a price if it stuck to this approach. “His view was very, very clear, It is not just the finance minister of India or somebody who has been associated with cricket at the top level, but also one of the top lawyers of country talking,” the BCCI insider said. “He knows how the court is likely to deal with the subject.”

Although Jaitley is not directly related to cricket anymore, his vast tenure as an administrator in the past combined with him being a political expert has always made his views significant. Past BCCI presidents like N Srinivasan, Shashank Manohar and Anurag Thakur have all consulted Jaitley various times in the last decade over important cricketing issues.

Inside Talks

According to BCCI insider, the three recommendations that the committee had shortlisted, which it wants the court to reconsider, were: one-state-one-vote, a three-man selection committee, and having a three-year cooling-off period for an office bearer after every term of three years.

Jaitley also agreed on the cooling-off period recommendation. “He said the tenure of nine years is good enough. Once you put a cap on the tenure (of nine years), what is the point putting a cooling-off period? It will become impractical.”

At BCCI’s last meeting, some of the state associations had strong reservations against the age-cap of 70 for an office bearer as prescribed by the Lodha Committee. But Jaitley did not find any fault with that recommendation. “He said that cap is good enough because the limit has been placed only on office bearers, not on nominees, representatives etc.”

The committee is likely to prune down the final list of recommendations for reconsideration at its next meeting, scheduled for July 7, in Mumbai. Those recommendations would then be presented at the BCCI SGM, which will be held before the court hearing on July 14.

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