There might be a crisis in Indian cricket. According to a report in The Indian Express, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) may call off the ongoing India-New Zealand series. This is a possible response to the Lodha committee's reportedly asking banks to stop disbursing funds to the BCCI.
With one Test match to go and five One-Day Internationals lined up, there's quite a lot of cricket over the next few weeks. Of course, the cricket body is yet to officially announce the cancellation.
Fuming at the defiance of its recommendations, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel had "directed" banks, where BCCI holds accounts, not to disburse "large" funds to the state associations, a decision taken by the Board at its Special General Meeting on September 30.
However, Lodha clarified: "We have not frozen the accounts of BCCI, we have directed the BCCI to not disburse funds to the state association. Day to day affairs, routine expenditure, matches, games, that should go on. There is absolutely no prohibition."
The BCCI, however, argued that state associations were depended on the parent body for organising matches and they were unable to carry on their functioning in if banks don’t provide the funds, affecting their preparations for the upcoming games in the ongoing series against New Zealand.
"The members are pained at the treatment meted out to them. They are depended on BCCI's funds for organizing matches. So far seven associations have communicated their inability to host games in the home season while nine of them have inquired about the matter. If things are the way they are, the series (against New Zealand) could called off by today evening," a senior BCCI official told PTI.
The home series with Australia, Bangladesh and England may also be cancelled. A Times of India report quoted another BCCI official as saying, ""In fact, the entire home season may now be in doubt after what is happening."
However, the Lodha committee clarified on Tuesday that bank accounts have not been frozen, but the BCCI has been directed not to disburse large amounts to state associations. The committee said that, according to its directive, the board is not supposed to make any payments other than routine ones.
According to reports, Yes Bank and the Bank of Maharashtra have to freeze the BCCI's accounts. “The disbursement of these amounts are not routine,” said the letter issued by the panel. While the Bank of Maharashtra is believed to have frozen the BCCI account on Monday, Yes Bank has not made its decision yet, reported The Times of India.
According to Espncricinfo, the Lodha Committee was concerned about two specific financial decisions. In the BCCI's annual report, released on September 23, Chaudhry had said the board "received a compensation of INR 1607.58 Crores (net of payment made to foreign boards) on account of termination of the rights agreement" for the Champions League Twenty20, which was discontinued last year. The other transaction was that of the infrastructure subsidy, in which the BCCI agreed to increase the annual subsidy to state associations from Rs 60 crore to Rs 70 crore. The board would have to shell out a massive Rs 1890 crore from its coffers if all 27 members were to receive the payment.