NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it was open to relaxing its order directing the Indian cricket board (BCCI) to accept the Justice Lodha panel’s recommendations in full, even as it barred two influential members of the cricket establishment from attending the special general body meeting (SGM) of the board.

The apex court indicated that “to keep the gentleman’s game nearly perfect”, it was open to a debate on modification of its July 18, 2016 ruling by which it had accepted the Lodha panel’s recommendations in full and ordered their implementation. The significant areas in which the Supreme Court indicated its willingness to rethink are reduction in the number of national selectors to three from five, restricting the appointment of selectors to players who have played Tests, the one-state one-vote norm and the associate membership criteria.

“All concerned shall implement the recommendations of the Justice Lodha committee report as far as practicable, barring the issues which have been raised pertaining to membership, number of members of the selection committee, concept of associate membership, etc,” a Supreme Court bench of Justices Dipak Misra, A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud told the Indian cricket board on Monday.

The Supreme Court bench of Justices Dipak Misra, AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud told BCCI on Monday that the Lodha report must be implemented “as far as practicable and thereafter it shall be debated as to how the scheme of things can be considered so that cricket, the gentleman’s game, remains nearly perfect”. BCCI had opposed the panel’s recommendations, including sweeping changes in administration, virtually marginalising the board.

While the willingness to revisit the recommendations will please BCCI, two erstwhile bosses of the resourceful sports body, N Srinivasan and Niranjan Shah, suffered a setback when SC restrained them from participating in the SGM. The SC-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) headed by Vinod Rai and ex-BCCI president Srinivasan traded charges freely before the bench.While the CoA accused Srinivasan of making a back-door entry into BCCI’s SGM as a nominee of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, the former board chief charged the CoA with asking all member associations to sign on the dotted line to implement the reforms.

Amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium and CoA counsel Parag Tripathi said Srinivasan was ousted from BCCI because of conflict of interest and had been disqualified from becoming an office-bearer. “The SC judgment was categorical about him.He could not have become an officebearer of TNCA. But he secured a back-door entry to the SGM by getting nominated. This is in violation of the spirit of the SC judgment,” they said.

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