The Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Committee, assigned to decide on the quantum of punishment for the wrongdoers in the IPL spot-fixing scandal and suggest policy reforms to the BCCI, is training its guns on the board’s East Zone representatives.
dna understands that the committee, chaired by former chief justice of India Justice RM Lodha, has sent a “very firmly-worded letter” to all full, associate and affiliate members of the East Zone, including the Cricket Association of Bengal headed by BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya, asking them to be in Kolkata on June 23 and 24. The committee is of the opinion that not much is known of the style of functioning of the East Zone, which comprises six full members (Bengal, Tripura, Jharkhand, Assam, Orissa, National Cricket Club), four associate members (Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Manipur, Sikkim) and affiliate members (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland).
“The committee reckons that the BCCI isn’t doing enough to promote the game in the eastern part of the country, especially the north-east region. Most associations in this region don’t have websites; nothing much is known of the finances available to them; and we don’t even know if the board is doing anything to build infrastructure and nurture talent in the region,” a source close to the committee said.
This should be music to the ears of Cricket Association of Bihar secretary Aditya Verma, the man whose PIL eventually led to the end of the N Srinivasan era in the BCCI. “Yes, the committee has asked me to attend the meetings on June 23 and 24,” Verma said. “I will explain to the committee how the BCCI has denied the children of Bihar their fundamental right of playing the game at the national and international levels. A state like Maharashtra has three Ranji Trophy teams (Maharashtra, Mumbai, Vidarbha). Ditto with Gujarat (Gujarat, Saurashtra, Vadodara). Even the state of Jharkhand, which was formed in 2000, is a full member. But Bihar, which has been a full member for several decades, has got a raw deal for so many years now. I hope the committee will hear me out and save cricket in Bihar,” Verma added.
The committee is also keen on ensuring that the BCCI recognises all deserving state associations and funds them just like it funds any other association. “Have you ever heard of a cricketer hailing from the north-east? Is the BCCI trying to tell us that there are no talented cricketers in the region? And why doesn’t the region have a single international stadium apart from the one in Guwahati? The committee will ask the East Zone representatives all these questions,” the source added.
Courtesy: DNA India