Former India Team Director Ravi Shastri today voiced his concerns about the three-year ‘cooling off’ period proposed by Lodha Committee, stating that it would refrain former cricketers from joining BCCI administration. Shastri feels that an administrator should get a minimum six-year term and made it clear that a huge country like India requires “five selectors”, and not three, as recommended by the Supreme Court constituted Lodha panel.
“I think there needs to be dialogue between both parties. Efforts should be made in this regard and let it not be a boxing bout,” Shastri told Sanjay Manjrekar during an interaction.
Besides commentating, the former captain is here as part of celebrations for India’s 500th Test match. Not one to mince words, Shastri made it clear that no good intentioned former cricketer would join administration if compulsory cooling off period is set in place.
“Why would I join BCCI if there’s cooling off period? If I have an idea which is constructive and which I can do, I mean you are telling me to go in three years. What would anyone achieve in three years? How do you know the guy coming after me is competent enough?,” he asked.
“If I have done a competent job, then I should be respected for my competence. There is no harm if I get a six- year term. Then go for three-year cooling off and come back for another six years. Even Indian presidential candidate gets five years.”
Shastri was asked about Lodha panel’s three-selector recommendation versus BCCI’s existing five-member committee, and he supported the cricket establishment. “When I played game, three selectors were enough but the manner in which interest has grown, the combined number of people who play the game in our country is more than combined population of other cricket playing nations.
“Australia can have three selectors as they have a population of 17 million (approx). We have a population of 1.2 billion. You are asking too much from poor guy (selector). They can cover each end of the country but still won’t be enough. I think five (selector) is in order,” Shastri said.
On a pragmatic note, Shastri said: “If things would have been that bad we would not have been where we are today. Yes there were mistakes and a whack in the backside is needed. So let’s be practical if it can work or not. There can be total chaos where other countries will go ahead of us and it will take years to climb back.”