NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has thrown its weight behind a protest against sweeping government reforms intended to make the country’s sports federations more transparent.
The National Sports Development Bill, which seeks to limit the tenure of all sports administrators and bring the federations under the scope of the country’s Right to Information (RTI) act, has already been rejected by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
“While we are happy with the accountability factor, we are not really happy with the interference of the government in sports bodies,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told reporters in Mumbai.
“We feel there is no reason for the government to interfere in the affairs of the BCCI.”
In June the International Cricket Council (ICC) ordered its members to free themselves from government interference or face sanctions and the bill, if passed, could become a headache for the world’s richest cricket board.
The BCCI remains a rare Indian federation that does not take government grants and holds regular elections and Sports Minister Ajay Maken said the government was not seeking to exert any control over its affairs, merely make it more accountable.
“How bringing a Sports Body under RTI is tantamount to controlling it, I fail to understand,” Maken wrote on his Twitter page.