Maharashtra close to accepting Lodha reforms

Members of the BCCI convene for the working committee meeting PTI

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) may soon become the fourth member of BCCI to accept the Lodha Committee recommendations. At a managing committee meeting on December 2, the MCA members decided to unanimously adopt the reforms subject to a final stamp of approval at a special general body meeting (SGM) later this month.

"The resolution is to agree to implement and support the Lodha Committee reforms along with any modifications that the court might pass,"Abhay Apte, MCA president, told ESPNcricinfo.

Vidarbha Cricket Association was the first BCCI member to adopt the Lodha reforms in October 2016, followed by Tripura and Rajasthan. ESPNcricinfo understands that Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA), another powerful member of the BCCI, has passed a resolution to adopt the reforms. A formal and final decision is likely to be taken soon.

At the MCA managing committee meeting, the 26-member body deliberated on whether it should keep to the status quo or adopt the reforms which have been pending since July 2016. The Supreme Court had ordered the BCCI to change its constitution by including the recommendations by December last year. It had also directed the BCCI members - the state associations - to follow suit and amend their respective constitutions.

However, the BCCI office bearers and many state associations have filed pleas in the court challenging its judgement. At the time of the verdict, Ajay Shirke was at the helm as MCA president. He was also serving as BCCI secretary until he was sacked by the court in January 2017 for failing to get the board to accept the Lodha committee's recommendations.

Apte, a senior lawyer, replaced Shirke as the MCA president and has been one of the few voices at BCCI meetings supporting the need for change. Even at MCA, Apte has urged his members to weigh in the long-term repercussions of opposing the Lodha reforms. With the court-appointed Committee of Administrators making it clear that funds would only be disbursed once the states adopt the new constitution, MCA has been feeling quite the strain. Its financial situation has been grim for a long time and Apte urged the members to take a forward-looking step.

"Our financial condition is not very good and we would like to overcome that," he said. "The members have come forward to support the association's cause. We can't continue with this status quo, We want to devote time to cricket."