In an interview he gave to ESPN Cricinfo in July, Vinod Rai, the chairman of the committee of administrators—the CoA—appointed by the Supreme Court to implement sweeping reforms in the administration of Indian cricket, said “disruptive elements” were stalling the group’s work, including the implementation of a new constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The court, he said, had not succeeded in persuading the BCCI’s members to pass the reformed constitution. “Then the court asked us to do it,” he continued. “We have tried our best to persuade them, build the consensus. Now that they have not agreed, I have sought the direction of the court.”
Rai’s account was disingenuous—a self-serving misinterpretation of both the CoA’s mandate, and the events that have transpired since the group’s formation in January. The court created the CoA after the BCCI failed to implement the recommendations of the Lodha Committee—formed in January 2015 to address corruption and mismanagement in the sporting body. The CoA’s job was made amply clear: to take charge of the BCCI with immediate effect, and to pave the way for fresh elections to reconstitute its leadership, in compliance with the Lodha recommendations. The CoA was also to apply the Lodha recommendations for the reform of state cricketing associations, which are affiliates of and have certain decision-making powers in the BCCI. In sum, its brief was enforcement, not persuasion.
That the CoA has largely failed in its task was laid bare in the resignation letter that the historian Ramachandra Guha, one of the group’s original members, sent to Rai on 2 June. The Lodha recommendations, he wrote, were being “flagrantly violated by people clearly disqualified to serve as office bearers of state and even BCCI-run cricket bodies. The disqualified men were openly attending BCCI meetings, claiming to represent their state association.”