In July 2015 Chief Justice Lodha was appointed as the head of a three-person committee to investigate the reform of cricket in India and the sport’s administrator the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). At the start of January 2016 the Lodha Committee published its report.
The report makes numerous recommendations to regain the “purity of the game” of Indian cricket, which has been hit by scandals and corruption, spot fixing. One key recommendation is to legalise betting on cricket. The report states that betting should be restricted to licensed “betting houses” and betting would not be permitted for cricket players, officials and administrators. Players would also be required to disclose their assets to BCCI to ensure they do not bet .
The Supreme Court has been stern in its statement to the BCCI that it should accept and implement all of Judge Lodha’s recommendations for cricket.
“Your members have been wielding power for too long… There will be no second innings here,” Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur warned the BCCI.
But at the start of March 2016 the BCCI filed its reply to the Supreme Court, saying there are practical difficulties in complying with the committee’s findings.
A regulated cricket betting market in India would be attractive to sportsbooks, given the obsession with the game in the country. But the response to the report by the BCCI shows that regulation will not be a quick process.