The stubborn resistance of the BCCI’s old guard towards the implementation of the Lodha Committee’s recommendations may have swayed the board’s member units into buying more time at the special general meeting on Monday. A number of state association officials told ESPNcricinfo that the board was forced to form a committee to revisit some of the recommendations, as the majority of the members did not want to be rushed into implementing the reforms. Many officials, led by veteran administrators like N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah, reportedly felt that some of the concerns identified during the October 1 SGM haven’t been addressed.
In the lead-up to the SGM on Monday, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had repeatedly urged the state associations to narrow down their objections to the Lodha recommendations to a point or two. The CoA had hinted that there was a good chance that recommendations like ‘one-state, one-vote’ and the restriction on the number of selectors might be overturned. The committee, however, had indicated that the court was unlikely to change governance-related clauses, such as the age-cap of 70 years or the tenure-cap of nine years.
According to a state association head from the west zone, a majority of the member units were in agreement with the CoA’s suggestion on the eve of the SGM, and wanted to adopt the recommendations. After the CoA’s meeting with the state associations, the BCCI authorised Abhay Apte, the Maharashtra Cricket Association president and a member of the board’s legal committee, and Vinay Mrutyunjaya, the spokesperson of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, to prepare a working paper on the recommendations for discussion at the SGM.
However, by Monday morning, the mood had changed dramatically. “Everybody that had remained united started fizzling out by the morning,” he said. “Many member units wanted to go ahead and ensure we could move forward, but by the time the meeting started it became clear that there was no way implementation was going to happen.”
It is understood that Srinivasan insisted that the objections raised in October should stand. In that meeting, the BCCI had “unanimously” adopted some resolutions while leaving out key ones like the age cap of 70 years, the tenure cap of nine years with cooling-off periods in between, and the one-state-one-vote policy, among others. “The argument was that we should not agree to anymore more than what we had already conceded,” the official said.
With Srinivasan and Shah coming together – they had fallen out during Shashank Manohar’s time in charge – there was reportedly a stronger voice against implementation. Srinivasan and Shah, incidentally, are disqualified under the Lodha recommendations on a few counts, including being over 70 years of age. There were also whispers that a couple of former BCCI office-bearers were strongly exhorting state units to resist the implementation of the reforms.