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  • 31 Jul
    On July 18, 2016, the Supreme Court passed its final order on the case involving the BCCI and its implementation of the Lodha Committees recommendations.The Court had appointed the committee in January 2015 to look into the functioning of the Indian board and suggest changes to its constitution.On January 4, 2016, RM Lodha, the former Chief Justice of India, unveiled the three-man committees recommendations, which shook the hierarchy of BCCI and its member associations. Consequently, the BCCI and various state associations approached the Supreme Court raising objections to the recommendations.The final order of the two-judge bench comprising TS Thakur, the Chief Justice of India, and Justice Ibrahim Kalifulla, signed off on most of the Lodha proposals, setting in motion a major revamp of the way cricket is run in India.The following is a summary of the case from the time the committee was appointed.Apr 14, 2015 - 82 questions for BCCIThe Lodha panel sends an 82-point questionnaire to the BCCI to understand how it functions and how it runs cricket in India.The questions were split into eight sections and covered an exhaustive set of topics from the role of the BCCIs stakeholders to the boards election processes, the basis and formation of its various committees, player welfare, conflict of interest and transparency in the IPLs functioning.Jan 4, 2016 - Sweeping reforms unveiledThe Lodha committee recommends a complete overhaul of Indian cricket - from the very top down to the grassroots - affecting all its stakeholders.With special focus on BCCIs governance and administrative structures, rather than its cricketing operations, the most important set of recommendations aims at transforming the boards power structure. The committee recommends one-state-one-vote, suggests clear and stringent eligibility criteria for the boards office bearers and sets limits on their tenure in office. Serving ministers and bureaucrats or those above 70 years of age are not allowed to hold positions on the board nor in their state associations.Setting up of a players associationTaking cognizance of the fact India are the only country to not have a players body, the Lodha committee recommends the formation of a players association.A four-member standing committee chaired by former union home secretary GK Pillai and comprising former India cricketers Mohinder Amarnath, Anil Kumble and Diana Edulji, is appointed to identify and invite all eligible ex-cricketers to be members, to open bank accounts, receive funds from the BCCI, conduct the first elections for office bearers, communicate the names of BCCI player nominees to the board.Jan 7, 2016 - BCCI takes the first steps to acknowledge Lodha reportThree days after the Lodha committee report became public, Anurag Thakur, BCCI secretary at the time, sends an e-mail to all state associations asking them to study the report, determine how it affects each of them individually and submit their findings to the board by January 31.Feb 4, 2016 - Supreme Court sets deadline for BCCIHaving noticed the BCCI and the state associations delaying their formal response to the Lodha committee recommendations, the Supreme Court sets March 3rd as the deadline for the board to make their stance clear one way or another. If you have any difficulty in implementing it [the reforms] we will have the Lodha Committee implement it for you, Justice Thakur tells the BCCI counsel, a view he repeated several times.Feb 5, 2016 - BCCI continues to drag its feetWithout spelling his exact reservations, Thakur says the board is justified in taking time to study the Lodha committees report.We need to understand it is not a one-page report. It is a detailed report, which will have a lot of consequences on the working and the functioning of the BCCI. A committee has taken close to 12 months to come up with it. We are taking close to two months to discuss, debate, and after deliberations come to a consensus to implement that report.When the report came, I wrote a letter to all the state associations to call their meetings. Many state associations have already held their managing committee or working committee meetings. They are going to have their special general meetings before the BCCIs special general meeting in the third week of February. So I think it is a due process. We are not slow at all. We are not shying away. We are not looking at any escape route.Two days later, the BCCI finally calls for an SGM to discuss the Lodha reportFeb 19, 2016 - BCCI points out anomalies in Lodha reportMore questions than answers arise when BCCI responds to the Lodha report. Its members cite anomalies and difficulties in implementing the recommendations. Thakur is asked to file an affidavit to counter the Lodha report in the Supreme Court.Feb 22, 2016 - Mumbai Cricket Association approaches SCThe state associations prepare to fire salvos against the Lodha commmittee. Mumbai Cricket Association, one of the oldest members of the BCCI, files an intervention stating the one-state-one-vote recommendation hurts the MCA. Mar 2, 2016 - BCCI details reservations against Lodha reportTwo days before the Supreme Court deadline, the BCCI files its affidavit, stating it has implemented some of the recommendations - appointing an ombudsman, addressing the issue of conflict of interest and advertising for a chief executive officer, a chief financial officer and other top management positions - but also lists several it does not agree with - the one-state-one-vote rule, age cap of 70 years for an office-bearer or a board official, limits on an office bearers and restriction on advertisements during Tests and ODIs.Mar 3, 2016 - Court takes exception to BCCI viewsAlthough the Court says it will ask the Lodha committee to reconsider some of the suggestions, it does not take pleasantly to the BCCIs continued reluctance to change.On Thakur saying he was not consulted before the recommendations were finalised, the bench asks: It was international news that we had formed the Justice Lodha committee to suggest reforms in cricket. The whole world knew it. Now you come to us and say the recommendations were a bolt from the blue for you and you were not consulted... What were you doing? Waiting at the fence for a written invitation?Responding to the BCCI counsels argument that a cap on advertisements during a match would cripple the boards income, Justice Thakur asks: Do you mean that your commerce should overtake the enjoyment of the game?Apr 5, 2016 - Court slams BCCIs method of disbursing fundsHaving asked the BCCI and its state associations for an audited account of their books over the last five years and finding disparities in the distribution of funds between members, the Court slams the Indian board. You function like show me the face; I will make the payment... [The] impression that one gets is that you are practically corrupting the persons by not demanding how the money is spent... [Its] like the moment you want a vote and their hands will go up, Justice Thakur says.Apr 8, 2016 - Are you refusing to be reformed?When BCCI counsel KK Venugopal says the board is beyond the purview of the Supreme Court since it is a trust, Justice Thakur counters, What we understand is that you are suggesting that I am answerable to Registrar of Societies. I will be accountable only to Registrar of the Society. I will be amenable to criminal law but I will not reform. Dont ask me to reform.Is it possible? What have you done? We have seen the allegations of match-fixing and betting. You have no control over these. But you give money in crores. The Lodha committee has said something. It has been said to make the functioning more transparent and visible and the effort is to reform the BCCI.Apr 19, 2016 - Court rebuffs BCCI take on one-state-one-voteWhen counsel for Baroda Cricket Association says implementing the one-state-one-vote recommendation would lead to enormous politics within the board, the bench disagrees. You are right. Seven votes will come to northeast where there is no cricket that we know [of]. But we dont know the game of seven votes. Can you elaborate what the politics will be?Apr 26, 2016 - BCCI running a prohibitory regimeThe Court continues to use stern language with regard to BCCI and its state associations. You are running a prohibitory regime, which is spread across the country, it says. You have complete monopoly. If any cricket club or association wants to do anything, we are least bothered. We are not here to reform every cricketing club. But if any institution which is discharging public duty like BCCI, then any organisation or association associated with it will have to reform itself.Apr 29, 2016 - Court firm on the age cap of 70 for administratorsWhy do you want to hold on to the reign for such a long time? Even the Supreme Court judges retire at 65, Thakur tells Arvind Datar, senior counsel for the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA). You have been given five more years. You had a president [the late Jagmohan Dalmiya] who could not speak, could not communicate. Those who elected him [in 2015] did not see whom they were electing? These days, even in politics people are retiring.Saying the Lodha committee is competent and can perform the surgery to repair Indian cricket administration, the court tells the counsel for Odisha Cricket Association: After a certain age they [people over 70] must retire and do something else. They cannot head a society managing sports.May 2, 2016 - State associations will have to fall in line with Lodha reformsThe Court makes it categorically clear that the BCCI and all of its state associations will have to implement the Lodha reforms.Once the BCCI is reformed it will go down the line and all cricket associations will have to reform themselves if they want to associate with it. The committee constituted in the wake of match-fixing and spot-fixing allegations was a serious exercise and not a futile exercise, the two-judge bench says in response to an intervention plea filed by the Haryana Cricket Association stating the Lodha Committees remit was to only recommend changes.May 3, 2016 - BCCI constitution incapable of achieving transparencyThe Court says the BCCI constitution is highly incapable of achieving the values of transparency, objectivity and accountability [such] that without changing its structure it cant be done so.June 30, 2016 - SC decision on Lodha panel report likely in three weeksThe Supreme Court reserves its judgement in the case concerning implementation of the Lodha Committee recommendations by the BCCI. There is to be no further hearing in the case and the two-judge bench will submit the written judgement to the concerned parties before July 22.July 18, 2016 - SC accepts majority of the Lodha recommendationsThe Supreme Court rules in favour of implementing a majority of the Lodha Committee proposals, and gives the BCCI between four and six months to implement them. Lodha, the court says, will oversee the implementation process.July 20, 2016 - CAB, KSCA call off electionsThe Lodha Committee asks the BCCI to direct all state associations to put their annual elections on hold. Consequently, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) postpone their elections. July 21, 2016 - Lodha Committee clarifies nine-year cap for state administratorsThe Lodha Committee makes it clear that office bearers, across the BCCI and state associations, who have completed nine years in the job cumulatively stand disqualified and cannot contest for another term.July 24, 2016 - Sharad Pawar announces he will step down as Mumbai Cricket Association presidentSharad Pawar becomes the first high-profile name to say he will step down as MCA president in accordance with the Lodha Committee recommendations.August 2, 2016 - BCCI appoints legal panel to liaise with Lodha CommitteeThe BCCIs working committee approves a new legal panel as a single point interface for the BCCI to interact with the Justice Lodha Committee during the implementation of the report. Former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju is appointed head the panel, which also includes BCCIs counsel Abhinav Mukerjee.August 7, 2016 - Katju terms Supreme Court order illegalFive days into his new role, Justice Katju calls the July 18 order of Supreme Court unconstitutional and illegal. There has been violation of principles of the [Indian] Constitution. Under our Constitution, we have legislature, executive and judiciary. There is broad separation of functions. Its the legislatures prerogative to make laws. If judiciary starts making laws, one is setting a dangerous precedent, he says. The following day, the BCCI files a review petition in the Supreme Court against the July 18 order.August 9, 2016 - Lodha Committee issues first set of timelinesBCCI secretary Ajay Shirke meets the Lodha Committee and says the board will follow the timelines set by the Committee. He also states that the board has already begun implementing reforms. 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The Brazilian goalkeeper signed a loan deal with the Major League Soccer club on Friday as he looks to get playing time ahead of this summers World Cup in his home country. Essendon skipper Brendon Goddard will undergo scans to determine if his AFL season is over after he injured his groin in Sundays 66-point loss to Geelong.Goddard pulled up sharply after he wrenched his groin going for a mark in the first quarter at Etihad Stadium and immediately signaled to the bench before slowly making his way off the field.With three games left in the season the 31-year-old veteran will battle to feature again if its anything more than a minor strain.He obviously couldnt finish the game so my guess is that hes strained something, which would put him in doubt for next week, coach John Worsfold said after the match.But groin strains can be of varying degrees, so I dont really know what it means at this stage.Essendon went goalless in the first half for the second time this season, but baattled on in the second half to ensure the Cats didnt get the huge percentage-boosting win they were after.dddddddddddd.It was a massive loss not having our most senior player out there for the majority of the game, Worsfold said.Were a team that really needs everyone out there but I was really proud of the way that they stepped up to cover that loss.I thought they stayed positive and backed themselves in. They werent good enough but they threw everything at Geelong.With vice-captain Mark Baguley already out injured, Worsfold will choose one of the clubs remaining leadership group players - Joe Daniher, Zach Merrett or David Zaharakis - to skipper the side in Goddards absence. ' ' '