4 major initiatives taken by the BCCI on the Lodha Committee recommendations
The BCCI is the sole administrating cricket authority in India. It has helped Indian cricket to scale new heights and established it as a superpower in World cricket. However, over the last few years, there have scathing attacks over its functioning and management processes. The 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal brought out some instances of corruption and irregularities in its administration.
These were dealt by the Indian Judiciary, and the Supreme Court decided to improve the way cricket is being regulated in India. The Lodha Committee submitted some sweeping recommendations in form of a report in January this year which the Supreme Court has been trying to implement since then. Many senior cricketers like Anil Kumble have praised the recommendations and concluded that they can be good for Indian cricket.
Also read: 5 Takeaways from the Lodha Committee
Though the Board has been opposing a few of the suggestions, it is evidently clear that it is making efforts to be more transparent and accountable. In that process, they have started taking the initiatives which will help in the development of the sport in the country and help the Board in improving its reputation.
#1 Appointment of CEO and CFO
The BCCI is all set to get professional after it was revealed that it will be having its first ever Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Finance Officer (CFO). Rahul Johri, who has previously served as executive vice president at Discovery Networks Asia Pacific and General Manager for South Asia, has been appointed as the new CEO of the Board and has already taken charge from June 1, 2016.
A statement from the BCCI said, “He will be responsible for smooth functioning of operations, stakeholder management and building robust strategies for further promoting the sport." This comes amidst the Lodha Committee recommendation to separate governance and management of the Board for transparent and systematic functioning.
However, the board has maintained that the appointments are a part of its initiative “Project Transformation” which is aimed at improving governance and operational processes. Whatever the reason might be, this step is expected to strengthen the functioning of the Board in a positive way.
#2 Advertisement for the post of Head Coach
For the first time ever, BCCI has advertised for the post of head coach of the Indian cricket team. The advertisement was posted on the BCCI website with the deadline for the application being June 10, 2016. The advertisement lists a number of requirements to be fulfilled by the aspiring candidates which includes “successfully coached a cricket team of any of the member Countries of the ICC at the first class or international level”.
The advertisement also mentions that a Hindi speaking coach will be desirable, if not mandatory. A number of prominent cricketers including Ravi Shastri, Sandeep Patil and Rahul Dravid have been in the fray for the post. The advertisement by the BCCI hints about its intention of bringing transparency into its processes which were in contention over last few years.
#3 Developing and promoting cricket in North-East Region
The Supreme Court was harsh on the BCCI for monopolising cricket in the country where States don't get equal recognition with regards to cricket related activity. This was even one of the highlighted suggestion by the Lodha Committee where it recommended for a one state one vote policy. It was also supported by the Supreme Court where it noted that North East states are not being given equal opportunity to be a part of cricket in India.
The efforts finally paid off and BCCI announced to develop cricket in the Northeast region of the country. It was announced by Anurag Thakur, Hon’ble President of the BCCI, that the board is planning to open an academy in either Shillong or Dispur under the aegis of NCA. BCCI also plans to have a combined team from the Northeast who will be taking part in the BCCI affiliated competitions.
#4 Promoting women's cricket
Women’s cricket in India has developed over the years, thanks to the encouraging initiatives taken by the BCCI. However, there were still grey areas left which needed to be answered. A major initiative was taken to answer this when Central Contracts were announced for women cricketers last year by then Board president Shashank Manohar.
The move was praised by the female cricketers and was a positive step in encouraging more women to take up the sport.
This was further extended this year and things got better when the BCCI made an announcement where they will be allowing Women’s national team cricketers to take part in overseas leagues which they weren’t allowed till now.
This move is set to benefit the overall growth of women’s cricket in India. It will provide the cricketers with a different exposure which will help them excel in different situations. Improving cricket accessibility for women will help BCCI to grow cricket in the country and will ultimately improve its reputation.