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Gavaskar, Kapil Dev voice issues with Lodha recommendations

Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev have joined the list of prominent commentators fielded by the BCCI to challenge some recommendations made by the Lodha panel. While Dev expressed concern about the wisdom of the "one state, one vote" system, Gavaskar said that the blueprint already existed in the BCCI's structure for the state associations to follow with regard to their office bearers.

The observations made by Gavaskar and Dev follow comments from another former Indian captain, Ravi Shastri, who expressed his concerns over some of the Lodha recommendations a couple of days ago. All three are engaged as commentators in the ongoing series between India and New Zealand, and made their observations in interviews with fellow commentator and former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar.

While welcoming the age-cap of 60 years for selectors, Dev asserted that implementing the one state, one vote recommendation would dismantle a long established structure in the administration of Indian cricket.

At present, the state associations of Maharashtra, Mumbai and Vidarbha - each functioning independently in the state of Maharashtra - and Gujarat, Baroda and Saurashtra - each functioning independently in the state of Gujarat - have one vote each in the BCCI elections. The Lodha Committee proposed that the six votes be reduced to two, one each from each state, with one association representing the state at the BCCI on rotational basis for a period of one year.

"I could not understand that Maharashtra can have only one vote. How can a place like Mumbai, which has done so much for cricket, vote only after three years?" Dev said. "Yes, change is required, [but] I think the cricketing work should be done by cricketers and administrative work should be done by administrators.

"They should sit down and discuss what is best for cricket. Some of the recommendations, I feel, are too much, but some of them I feel is the need of the hour for the betterment of the game. I was so happy when three cricketers picked the national coach. But, let us not take anything away from the BCCI. They have looked after this game for almost 60-80 years."

The Lodha Committee had also recommended that administrators of the BCCI and state associations hold office for a maximum of nine years - three three-year terms, with a three-year cooling-off period between each. Gavaskar said the system that existed at the BCCI level was a good blueprint for administrators at the state level, who tend to have longer tenures.

"What is the pinnacle in an administrator's career? It is becoming the president. You don't just become the president in three years. You are the president of the board because you serve some terms such as vice-president. Once you come to that level, once you have finished that [president's] term, you then don't come back as the representative of your state association because how are the new ideas going to come?

"Once you have done that I think you should say, 'Thank you very much. Let us now have somebody else representing my state association.' That is the kind of thing that will help."

Dev also felt that a three-year term was harsh, echoing the thoughts of Shastri. "Minimum five years sounds very good. Three years is too quick."

The BCCI has till September 30 to amend its rules and regulations, as per the Lodha directive. The first phase of reform, comprising recommendations on 11 topics with sub-divisions, is to be completed by October 15.

According to the second list of timelines laid down by the panel, state associations will have to hold their elections by November 15, while the board's AGM and elections to the BCCI's apex council will have to be held by December 15. The new IPL governing council and BCCI committees will have to be established by December 30.