Shashank Manohar cuts loose on Lodha panel recommendations

May 22, 2016, 09:03 IST | Harit N Joshi

Newly-appointed ICC chairman and former BCCI chief Manohar fine with 75% of Lodha panel recommendations, but opens up on points which are problematic to implement

Shashank Manohar, who recently quit as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and got unanimously elected as the first independent chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) thereafter, on Saturday, categorically highlighted his reservations against the recommendations suggested by the Justice Lodha Commission panel.

Former BCCI president and newly-elected ICC chairman Shashank Manohar during a media interaction at BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Former BCCI president and newly-elected ICC chairman Shashank Manohar during a media interaction at BCCI headquarters in Mumbai on Saturday. PIC/PTI 

Although Manohar is happy with “75 per cent” of those recommendations and some of which have already been appointed by the BCCI, the eminent Nagpur-based lawyer is not convinced with: one-state-one vote, cutting down advertisements between overs, two members from the IPL franchisees on the IPL Governing Council, association of players, three-member selection panel and the cooling-off period for office-bearers.

Manohar spoke to the media about these reservations.

It is easy to say the North-Eastern states also exist and therefore they should be full members of the Board. Even in our political system when MPs are elected, the number is not the same from all states. If you have to give equal representation to everybody then you should have the same number of MPs from every state.

There are many members like Maharashtra, Vidarbha, Baroda, Saurashtra, Railways, Services, Universities, National Cricket Club and Cricket Club of India which the Lodha Committee has asked to be removed from BCCI. Now, many of these are founder members of the Board. The Board was founded in 1932. The States Re-organisation Act came into force in 1956, so these members were the regions which came together and formed this Board.

No advertisements between overs
This would destroy the financial structure of this Board. The BCCI has appointed an agency to monitor that, during telecast, all six balls are shown and there is a penalty clause in the contract itself which says termination of the contract can be inflicted in case all six balls are not shown.

The Board has started many schemes for the benefit and welfare of the players — all those schemes will have to be shut down. Today, the Board has international clout. That clout would also disappear.

Franchisee on the Indian Premier League Governing Council
This situation creates a clear conflict (of interest) because there are decisions taken relating to the franchises at the IPL Governing Council. Even before the Lodha recommendations were submitted to the Supreme Court, I had given a suggestion, which is still pending with the Board, but the amendments were made that in the IPL Governing Council we should have three independent persons of repute who have expertise in finance and administration. However, at the meeting it was felt we were not sure what the Lodha Committee would do, and therefore that was kept in abeyance. It was neither accepted or rejected.

Association of players
This is also wrong to tell the Board that you find another association which would be created by players. Even with FICA, it is an association formed by the players themselves. They share their revenue, they share their prize money to FICA, they pay their subscriptions to FICA and that is how it runs.

Three-member selection panel
This is an operational matter. There are so many matches which are simultaneously held all over the country. It is physically impossible for the selectors to travel to all these places and watch games.

Cooling-off period for office-bearers
I have no difficulty with the nine-year period for office bearers, but the issue is with the cooling-off period. You can’t have a cooling-off period because there will be no continuity in the system. You will have five different people each time. This clause — if you are an office-bearer in the Board, you should not hold any post in your state association and you need to resign — is also wrong. It is like saying that if you become a minister, you will have to resign as MP because otherwise, you will indulge in favouritism.

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