We are not touching the 70-year age cap, amending cooling-off clause necessary: BCCI treasurer
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal, on Monday, said the Board is not looking to dilute the age cap of 70 years for its office-bearers in the upcoming AGM but will discuss amending the cooling-off clause as experience of the officials 'must be utilised'.
In the agenda released for the Annual General Meeting, the first since former captain Sourav Ganguly took over as BCCI president, the Board has proposed significant changes to the existing constitution which dilutes some of the reforms recommended by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel.
As per the current constitution, which is approved by the Supreme Court, an office-bearer who has served two three-year terms either at the BCCI or at the state association, goes into a compulsory cooling-off for a three-year period.
The current dispensation at the BCCI wants the cooling off period to kick in after the individual has finished two terms (six years), at the board and state association separately.
"We have not touched the age cap (of years) we have kept it like that. We have not made any amendment to that. With regards to the cooling off, our point of view is if somebody has gained experience by running the state association why give him a cooling-off, that experience should be utilised in the best interest of the game. If he can contribute in BCCI, why not," Dhumal said.
"If someone reaches 67 years of age after spending six years in a state association. If he has cooling off of three years, he is already 70 by then. He won't be able to contribute anything to the BCCI."
The BCCI wants that the president and secretary be allowed to serve two consecutive terms before the cooling-off sets in while the treasurer and other office-bearers should be allowed to complete three terms (nine years) in one go.
The current dispensation, led Ganguly, took charge last month ending the 33-month tenure of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA).
"You must have seen in the BCCI election (last month). Out of the 38 members part of the electoral roll, only four or five members had the experience of attending meetings previously."
"So in case someone has gained experience in the state association, that experience should be utilised in the BCCI. In one stroke you made all office-bearers ineligible in many of the states (following Lodha reforms)."
"So, it is like you sack the Chief Minister of a state and then call the cabinet ministers ineligible. So from where will you get the new ministry?" asked Dhumal, who is the younger brother of former BCCI president and BJP MP Anurag Thakur.
Dhumal said Supreme Court has relaxed some Lodha recommendations in the past, including one state one vote, considering the technical difficulties in implementation.
"We will take it (all passed amendments at the AGM) to the Supreme Court. We will put across our point of view. What are the practical difficulties we are facing with regards to few things. In case the court agrees with our idea, then will have those amendments," he said.
Will the Lodha reform be compromised if the amendments are ratified?
"It is not like that," said Dhumal.
"Few of the recommendations were diluted by the Supreme Court itself. They understood that there are technical difficulties with regards to one state one vote. We don't have any issues with most of the recommendations but there are technical difficulties with some."
"Even the CoA recommended changes to the conflict of interest of clause in the existing constitution. So we will go back to Supreme Court on the practical difficulties we are facing. If they agree with us, it is ok. If they don't then we continue with whatever we have. "
"Everything has to be consented to by the Supreme Court. We pass it in the AGM, then we go to Supreme Court. We Will not do anything unilaterally," he said.
On the first-ever day-night Test in India, Dhumal said the experiment was a great success.
"The idea was to build the crowd for a Test match and for that reason, it has been a great success. This was an experimental game. We will explore the idea further and see how we can utilise this in generating more interest in Test cricket. But that has to be a policy decision and taken with all stakeholders (to make it a regular feature in home season)."
Asked whether the day-night Test will be taken to all parts of India, as suggested by Ganguly himself, Dhumal added: "We have to factor in the location at the time of the game, dew factor also and see how many Tests we have in a season. Accordingly we will take a call. Yes, this could be a regular feature in the home season."