Lodha panel row: BCCI defers tender process for media rights for ten IPL seasons
In a letter, the cricket body told bidders that the events were unforeseen and not under its control.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that it was deferring the tender process to award media rights for the 2018 season of Indian Premier League. In a letter late on Monday, the BCCI offered a “sincere apology” for being unable to go ahead with the process, and said the decision was made because of events over which it “had no control”.
This came days after the Supreme Court ordered that an independent auditor look into the BCCI’s accounts and said the court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel would need to approve any major contracts. Submission of bids for IPL media rights for 10 seasons (2018-2027) was scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Its statement added that the IPL had contributed massively to the country’s economy and that none of the stakeholders in the process had complained of any irregularities. It also said the tender process had been completely transparent, but that the Lodha panel had now been entrusted with overseeing it.
BCCI President Anurag Thakur had been asked on Friday to submit an undertaking, guaranteeing that the board will comply with the recommendations of the Lodha committee and the Supreme Court's orders. Thakur will have to file the compliance report affidavit within two weeks of the order.
The Lodha panel was formed by the apex court in January 2015 to look into the affairs of the BCCI, in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal in the 2013 edition of the IPL. Comprising former chief justice RM Lodha and retired Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran, the committee has recommended major reforms and an administrative rejig in the cricketing body. The key issues over which the Lodha committee and the BCCI are at loggerheads are one vote per state, one person-one post, age cap for office-bearers, and the cooling-off period.
The text of the BCCI statement is available with this report.