New Delhi, Apr 25: The Supreme Court today pulled up BCCI for "monopolizing" cricket in the country and said several youngsters wanting to be Dhonis and Kohlis are not given equal opportunity if they are not on the right side of the cricket body.
"Several youngsters in the country want to make their career in cricket and want to be Dhonis and Kohlis due to the glamour and glitz associated with it. They do not get equal opportunity if they are not on the right side of the BCCI. Sometimes they are prevented by the people at the helm of affiars," a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said.
The apex court also appointed senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as amicus curiae in the matter and sought his assistance to explore as to how the recomendations of Justice RM Lodha committee favouring large-scale structural reforms, which BCCI and other boards have been resisting, could be implemented.
The bench, also comprising Justice FMI Kalifulla, expressed anquish over the cricket body running a "prohibitory regime and monopolizing cricket" across the country, saying no one can play the game without its nod.
"You (BCCI) are running a prohibitory regime which is spread across the country. If a player has to play cricket he has to be with you. You have complete monopoly. You have monopoly over members and you prevent people from becoming members.
"Suppose a state from North East wants to be a member in BCCI. You are not allowing it to become a member because your writ lies there also. You don't want to give them equal opportunity. You have complete monopoly over Team India because you select them and don't want to give the right to anyone else. We need to balance things," the bench said.
The court said it fails to understand why there should be any problem to anyone because Justice R M Lodha-led committee has opened the membership to other states and recomended one state-one vote. The bench made it clear to Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA), which has expressed its reservations to one state-one vote formula, that it is not concerned with any state associations.
"We make it clear that we are not concerned with any state cricket associations but if they want to associate with BCCI, then they have to reform themselves. You will have to fall in line and reform yourselves or you will lose your membership," the bench said.