But the Bench agreed that the National Cricket Club and the Cricket Club of India did not deserve to be full members in BCCI.
The court gave Services Sports Control Board, the Railways and the Association of Universities full membership in the BCCI. In case of varsities, the court described them as “a nucleus for encouraging the game of cricket among players of the college-going generation.”
The Bench saw eye-to-eye with Justice Lodha’s conclusion that “the game will be better off without cricketing oligopolies.”
To this end, the court supported the recommendation of the Lodha panel that cricket administrators should undergo a “cooling-off period” before contesting elections to BCCI or State associations.
“Cooling-off must be accepted as a means to prevent a few individuals from regarding the administration of cricket as a personal turf,” Justice Chandrachud agreed.
Age bar remains
But the Bench struck a balance. Justice Lodha had suggested that the cooling-off period should kick in for a cricket administrator after his every tenure of three years in office. Instead, the court said an administrator needs to “cool-off” only after two consecutive terms of six years in office, whether in BCCI or a State association or a combination of both. “Six years in continuation, is a sufficiently long period for experience and knowledge gained to be deployed in the interest of the game without at the same time resulting in a monopoly of power,” Justice Chandrachud explained.