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Weird recommendations? No ad break after every over; one stadium per city

While the Lodha committee report suggested some sweeping changes in the way the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) functions, it also included some far-fetched recommendations which seemed practically unviable.

MS Dhoni (left) and Virat Kohli during overs break against South Africa in Rajkot last October. Pic for representation purpose only
MS Dhoni (left) and Virat Kohli during overs break against South Africa in Rajkot last October. Pic for representation purpose only

Justice RM Lodha and retired Supreme Court judges, Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran are of the view that commercial advertisements should not be telecast after every over. Under chapter eight: Transparency and oversight, it is noted: "Commerce has also overtaken the enjoyment of the sport, with advertisements continuing many a time, even after the first ball and again commencing even before the last ball of the over is played, thereby interrupting the full and proper broadcast of the game.

Exploitation
"Regardless of the wicket that has fallen, century having been hit or other momentous event, full liberty is granted to maximise the broadcaster's income by cutting away to a commercial, thereby robbing sport of its most attractive attribute — emotion.

"It is recommended that all existing contracts for international Test & One-Day matches be revised and new ones ensure that only breaks taken by both teams for drinks, lunch and tea will permit the broadcast to be interrupted with advertisements, as is the practice internationally. "Also, the entire space of the screen during the broadcast will be dedicated to the display of the game, save for a small sponsor logo or sign."

Lodha committee also recommends having more than one international cricket stadium in a city. Under chapter 10: Constitution and functioning of members, the report says: "The cost of construction of a stadium runs into hundreds of crores. It makes more sense to have cricket playing grounds in each District, rather than having one or two stadia in a State.

"In fact, the Committee learns that some members are merely collecting the grants from BCCI and depositing them in a Bank so as to accumulate sufficient funds necessary for taking up construction of a stadium. The result is some smaller States have neither a stadium nor well-developed cricket playing grounds.

"BCCI should therefore encourage the State Associations to: Have as many cricket playing grounds and fields (as possible) instead of multiple stadia, which will enable greater usage and access to greater number of players.

"To make the existing stadia amenable to other sports by providing for alternate surfaces to be laid (Astroturf for hockey, Carpet for tennis, etc.) so that income may be generated and there would be all round development of sport, care being taken not to damage the pitch. But they should not be used for public functions where thousands will stomp on the ground."

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