Mumbai: Anurag Thakur, the president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Monday said that India might have to choose between either Indian Premier League (IPL) or next year’s Champions Trophy in England if the BCCI chooses to implement Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations in the coming time.
As per the reforms suggested by the Lodha committee, there has to be a 15-day gap before and after the Indian Premier League. And the Champions Trophy is scheduled from June 1-18 while IPL, like every year, will end in the last week of May.
Thakur said, “I don’t know whether India will be able to play Champions Trophy or not. If you go by the Lodha Committee report you have to play either the IPL or the Champions Trophy. So BCCI has to take a call on that.”
He said, “There is Australia series before IPL and Champions Trophy after it. So BCCI has to take a call whether they will play IPL or Champions Trophy — you have to pick one of the two if the Lodha Committee recommendations are implemented in toto.”
When asked if India is insisting to be put in different group than Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, Thakur said, “The question of India-Pakistan arises only if India play Champions Trophy.”
When asked if IPL could be scheduled differently, he said, “You tell me how you can do it. I will give you the window.”
Stating that this problem might remain every year, he said,” You have certain months to play in India. There is a window made available for IPL so you have to take a call whether the world’s fastest growing league, which has showcased to the world how you can make domestic cricket more popular, and give birth to many other leagues like football, hockey, badminton, kabaddi and all that – whether that has to go.”
Mentioning the huge reforms BCCI has undergone in recent times, Thakur said, “If you look at the BCCI, it is open about reforms. In the last 18 months, I first appointed Cricket Advisory Committee, hiring greats like Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly. Selection of the coaches, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble and appointment of CEO and CFOs. We have taken various steps in the last 18 months, there’s a huge list.”
When asked about his response to Supreme Court’s line : ‘fall-in-line or we will make you fall in line’, he said, “I did not see that line in the SC order that is reported in the media.”
He further added, “We have passed many recommendations, adopted them as recommended, many could not be adopted by members as they have given various reasons for that. One must appreciate that BCCI was always open about it. Before the recommendations, we have adopted many that were not part of it. We have to follow the law of land. We have highest respect for the Supreme Court. That is why we are following various timelines. At the same time, we are bound by the TN Societies Act.”
“Many members felt that if Mumbai won Ranji Trophy for 41 times, and founder members like Baroda, state like Gujarat coming up with most modern and new stadium with 1.5 lakh capacity, if they are taken into 1-state-1-vote category, then out of six states, six have stadiums, they host International matches, their rights will be taken out. Various things came out from members that can be conveyed to the court. Look at the overall leadership. If there is cooling off, there is no continuity in state and BCCI,” Thakur stated when asked about one state, one vote and cooling off period of one year after a three year term.
Further adding to the cool off period debate with an example, he stated, “If you take a cooling off period after three years where will the continuity come? How will another Dalmiya will be born. That will only happen with experience in states and the BCCI.”
Finally concluding Thakur said, “It’s like three years you write on cricket and then you become a political writer for one year. I will see how much continuity you have. Thakur became president of HPCA in 2000. If he had retired in 2003 after laying foundation stone then probably the Board President XI-Pakistan match would not have materialised in 2005.”