Newly elected International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman and former Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) president Shashank Manohar today lashed out at the recommendations of the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee's recommendations.
Manohar, who last week became the ICC's first independent chairman, said he is opposed to some of the Lodha panel's suggestions to improve the state of affairs in Indian cricket board, including the one-state-one-association policy.
"When I took over as BCCI president, Lodha Committee work was in progress. Changes were made to improve Board. I respect Justice Lodha, he was the finest judges we have seen," Manohar told India Today.
"In his report... 75 percent of the recommendations are good. I have reservations on some four or five," he said.
Manohar, a prominent Indian lawyer who served his first stint as the BCCI president from 2008-2011, said one-state-one-association policy was not correct.
"One-state-one-association not correct. Easy to say North East states should be included. But even in parliament system it is not equal members for each state. Even in the Supreme Court, judges are more from Mumbai, Kolkata, etc.
"Many members of BCCI are founder members. There were no states. Regions came together to form board. Lodha Committee says association which don't have voting rights can play. But if for example Mumbai becomes full member, Vidarbha, Maharashtra become associate members... but they will lose jurisdiction because where can we get players to set up team? How do we decide who gets full membership?," he cited.
Manohar, who again came to power in BCCI following the death of Jagmohan Dalmiya last year, also said Lodha panel's recommendation that advertisement breaks between overs in cricket matches be removed will destroy the financial structure of the BCCI.
He said the the implementation of this suggestion will push the Board back to the 1980s.
"No advertisements between games would destroy financial structure of BCCI. The Board's revenue would come down 15-20 percent. When report came, Star Sports wrote a letter to us to renegotiate contract. The BCCI would be relegated to 1980's. Benefit schemes will have to be shut down. If our income comes down to 400 crore, our clout will disappear."
"Matter has gone on the back of conflict case of N Srinivasan. Same issue is applicable if franchisees are in governing council."
"No where in world do players sit in council. Even FICA, they share revenue and prize money. It is consulted, not in management board. We have committees where cricketers are there. Lodha Committee wants three selectors. It's a operational matter. How can anyone ask a media house how many people you want to employ. Also impossible for three to travel to all games.
According to Lodha recommendations, each of the office-bearers has a three-year term and can contest for a maximum three terms. There will be a mandatory cooling off period after each term. No office-bearer can hold office consecutively in a row.
"I have issue with cooling off period. There would be no continuity. If these things are sorted out no problem with report. My views don't change because of chair. They are well known. BCCI doesn't have investigation agency. In that sense we can't control members. Humanly impossible to look at functioning of state associations. Not saying all association are functioning in excellent way." he said.
The Lodha committee was set up by the Supreme Court to clean up cricket administration in the country after a corruption and match-fixing scandal hit the Indian Premier League (IPL), leading to two-year suspensions of three-time champions Chennai Super Kings and inaugural edition winners Rajasthan Royals.
The three-member Lodha panel has put forward several recommendations to the Supreme Court which, if implemented, could have far reaching effects on cricket administration in India.