New Delhi: The BCCI today said it is "not looking for an escape route" but needs to time to implement the Lodha Committee recommendations on reforms in cricket administration, in comments that came a day after the Supreme Court talked tough on the issue.
The Supreme Court had told the Board to fall in line and implement the sweeping reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee. Board Secretary Anurag Thakur said the BCCI has "every right to deliberate" on the pros and cons of the report before going ahead with its recommendations.
"The BCCI is not looking for an escape route. We believe in transparency and accountability. In the last nine months, we have done things which would indicate that we are in the right direction. The Lodha committee has recommended many things but every member has right to look into the recommendations," BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said in a press conference, here today.
However, when asked about the logic and plausibility of some of the recommendations, Thakur's reply was: "I will reserve my comments on that." But it was clear that the top brass of BCCI is not entirely happy with the recommendations.
"In 1983, when India won the World Cup, we did not have any money to pay our champion team. But now it is different. It is not that everything that has happened in the last 30-40 years in the BCCI has been all wrong. So while taking any steps, that should also be taken into account," Thakur said.
Thakur also said the BCCI's legal team has been looking into the matter and there will be deliberations on the findings on February 7. In fact, a Special General Meeting of state associations will be summoned in the third week of February and after that a collective viewpoint will be given
by the parent body.
On allegations that they have been slow on the implementation part, Thakur replied in the negative. "You need to understand that the Lodha Panel Recommendation is not a one page report. It is a detailed report which will have a lot of consequences on the functioning of the board. If the Committee (Lodha) has taken 12 months, we are taking just two months to deliberate and discuss. Many states are yet to have their association's SGM wherein, they will give their viewpoints," the BJP MP said.
Thakur, who has been a bete noire of controversial ex-president N Srinivasan, did not forget to take a dig at the earlier regime when the spot-fixing scandal broke.
"We are paying the price for the mistakes made in the earlier era. What happened was loss of face and credibility. Lack of decision-making during that regime also hurt the image of the board. But in the last nine months, we have tried to restore the image of the board. Everyone knows that who caused damage and who restored the image."
He also informed that his own association Himachal Pradesh CA will have a meeting to discuss the Lodha Panel recommendations tomorrow. He also took a jibe at the popular perception about 'Conflict of Interest'.
"Kevin Pietersen is playing in the T20 leagues and also is commentating on the same tournament. Lot of players in other boards are doing the same. Here some people have made it a habit of filing 'Conflict of Interest' complaints with malafide intentions. Every organisation goes through phases when structural reforms happen and BCCI is no exception."