In a country where cricket is a religion it is sad to see that corruption has seeped to its core making it impure and satanic. The 2013 IPL spot fixing being the biggest crisis to hit the cricket governing body in India- Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI). The racquet involved players, officials, and team owners. This is not the first time BCCI was involved in a scandal, with corruption penetrating so deep that many now rightfully refer to it as the Board of Cricket Corruption in India.
Efforts made to ameliorate this body in the past have failed. In fresh attempts to clean the muck spread by BCCI the Supreme Court of India set up a three-member panel, headed by Justice (Retd) R M Lodha in 2015 to improve cricket administration. The committee has foremost demanded transparency in the functioning of the BCCI. A plea to bring BCCI under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has been made. New criteria to be elected as an officer-bearer with the BCCI has also been proposed. Ministers and government official have been barred from holding a position in the body, an age limit of 70 years has been set along with a fixed tenure. Other recommendations include legalising betting and having two different bodies governing the IPL and BCCI along with appointment of three special officers – Ethics and Electoral officers and an ombudsman.
The recommendations have hit the BCCI and State Cricket Associations like a sledgehammer. The panel has made it clear that in order to make the institution work individual interests will have to be given up. The recommendations look revolutionary on paper, set to eradicate all corrupt elements from the administration of this sacred sport. But it is important to note that these are just suggestions that are not legally binding the BCCI to implement them.
The attempt to bring the BCCI under RTI is not new one, in 2011 sports minister Ajay Maken’s attempt to bring the BCCI under RTI with National Sports Development Bill went futile as several Cabinet minister in the then government had deep roots in the BCCI themselves .With an obscure amount of money flowing in this private body the BCCI is like that hen laying golden eggs for anyone who gets involved with this institution. So we are back to square one as it is up to BCCI’s conscience to clean up their act.