KOLKATA: The decks have been finally cleared for the implementation of a slew of reforms – suggested by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha committee – in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The onus will now be on the three-member advisory panel, to be named on Jan 19, to drive the wide-ranging reforms in the BCCI as well as the state associations which jointly administer the most popular sport in the country. Non-compliance of the apex court’s order of July 18, 2016, has already cost BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke their jobs. The state associations now run the risk of inviting the court’s ire if they fail to amend their respective constitutions and hold fresh elections as per the guidelines given by the Lodha panel. The interim administrators may step in and force the issue if they refuse to fall in line. If the state associations have stonewalled the implementation of reforms, blame it on the greedy officials, who despite having ruled the roost for decades, are not willing to let go of the ‘kursi (chair)’ and the perks that come with it. In a bid to break this hegemony of a handful of officials in various cricket bodies, including the BCCI, the Lodha panel has recommended a number of measures. Apart from suggesting the one-person, one-post norm, the panel has suggested a maximum of three three-year terms for officials, with three-year cooling off period between each term, both at the state as well as national level for any post. It has also stipulated that no one above 70 years of age will be eligible to hold any post in cricket bodies. The cooling-off period will also apply to those officials keen to move from their state associations to take up higher positions in the BCCI. On paper, these recommendations may seem fair and not hard to implement in a democratic organisation. But in the opaque world of BCCI politics, where proxies often determine the result of elections in a bid to hang on to power, the implementation of these measures will spell death knell for the fiefdoms ruled by few. The checks and balances in the tenure cap will render an overwhelming number of past and present officials in the state associations as well as in the BCCI ineligible to contest for any post at any level. Barring the Tripura and Vidarbha cricket associations, which have amended their constitution as per the panel’s guidelines, every other body will be left with a vacuum as the current officials are rendered redundant, having either completed nine-year tenures or overshot it by several years. Assam, too, has seen a change of guard, but having elected their chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal as the association’s president, they now have to find a replacement as the Lodha panel bars ministers and government servants from holding any post in cricket bodies. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) finds itself precariously placed. Their president Sourav Ganguly is just six months short of completing his three-year term as a full-fledged official (14 months as joint secretary and 16 months as president). A closer look at the list (see graphic) reveals that with the heavyweights ineligible to continue, the path has been paved for fresh faces in cricket administration.