ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Third Umpire

Lodha Committee Report on Indian Cricket

The Lodha Committee report has been cataclysmic for the Board of Control for Cricket in India because of the precedent it has set. The highest court in the country has wrenched the BCCI's door off its hinges and from now on, it cannot be fixed in the way the board would want it to be. The report has the power to become the lodestone through which India's substandard sports governance can be reined in. It is also a case study of how a lack of self-regulation can lead to an independent, autonomous sports organisation mismanaging itself to within the reach of the law.

If the events that beset the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) between May 2013 and January 2016 could be compressed into a Transformer movie sequence, it would run in rapid, fast-forward. Opening with the post-midnight arrest of three young men in Mumbai, a vast blur of more arrests, denials and court hearings, all the way to its current screeching end: at a packed media conference in Delhi featuring three distinguished grey-haired gents and a stout 150-page document.

In between lies the steady dismantling of the BCCI’s superbly-protected and carefully-insulated superstructure, which over the last two decades has turned Indian cricket’s growing financial strength into its fingerprint, currency and muscle. For the first time in the sport, an event which began with cricketers accused of colluding with the illegal betting industry did not end merely in the players’ banishment from the game. A series of unfortunate—or fortunate?—events have led to the BCCI’s governance framework being turned inside out by a Supreme Court panel.

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