Former cricket boss slams BCCI for TV rights sale loss

NEW DELHI: Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) president and former boss of the Indian cricket board I S Bindra today claimed sale of telecast rights for one-day series against Sri Lanka and South Africa to pubcaster Doordarshan has resulted in a loss of Rs. 440 million.

"Doordarshan clinched the deal after offering the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) a deal of Rs 75 million per match. Another TV company had offered the Board Rs 1,350 million for telecast of 12 matches as against Rs 910 million what it will get now," the Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Bindra in report filed from Mohali, the headquarters of PCA.

The former BCCI chief, a trenchant critic of present Board officials, said the organization was playing "fraud" with the country's cricketers and the cricket-crazy public.

"It is a big fraud with the cricketers, state associations and the general public. Last year, the Board lost Rs 3,500 million by undervaluing what it could have earned by awarding various rights," Bindra told PTI.

He added that on Monday he approached the Delhi High Court regarding the alleged fraud by the Board.

PCA and Rajasthan Cricket Board have joined issues with Zee Telefilms, which has filed a petition against the BCCI in Delhi HC relating to TV cricket rights. This case’s next hearing is mid-November.

Bindra, who has earlier on several occasions alleged that the Board was not interested in marketing domestic cricket, said the Board's reluctant attitude had cost domestic players Rs 375 million last year.

Though the Indian government last week passed a law making it mandatory to share feed of important sporting events and cricket with the pubcaster on a mandatory basis, the legislation is yet to take effect.

Meanwhile, another agency report from Delhi states that decks have been cleared for holding the adjourned annual general meeting (AGM) of the BCCI at Kolkata before 30 November as disputing parties to the Board elections mutually arrived at consensus on six-point terms and reference for an observer to the polls.

Taking on record the draft notes of the discussion on which the warring factions agreed, a Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices B P Singh, S B Sinha and P K Balasubramanyan said that after the elections the observer would send his report with brief reasons for his ruling on voting rights and on eligibility/disqualification to the apex court within a week, the PTI report stated.

The Supreme Court has posted the matter for further orders on 12 December, PTI said on Tuesday.

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