No funds for England series, BCCI moves Supreme Court

MUMBAI: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today moved the Supreme Court, saying there are no funds for the India-England Test series scheduled to start tomorrow (9 November) in Rajkot. The BCCI said the Lodha panel has to release funds needed for the series with immediate effect.

The Supreme Court bench says it will consult the Chief Justice of India on the matter. In response, the Lodha panel has opposed BCCI submission, saying that the cricket body is in contempt by not respective apex court orders.

Justice RM Lodha panel secretary, Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, told the Hindu neither the BCCI nor its member-state associations has given compliance reports or undertakings that they would comply with the recommendations as per the Supreme Court verdict on October 21.

The court has frozen the disbursal of funds from BCCI to state member-associations till the latter comply with the panel recommendations. The Board approached Justice Dave's Bench as Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur is heading a Constitution Bench. Justice Dave said his Bench would consult with the Chief Justice and get back at 2 pm.

The new move on the eve of the series comes despite the Supreme Court concluding in a 21-page judgment that BCCI's top administrators, including its president and BJP MP Anurag Thakur, were an impediment to Justice R.M. Lodha Committee's efforts to reform Indian cricket.

Senior counsel for the BCCI, Kapil Sibal, and his team gathered to draft the petition. BCCI's contention is that, in line with the October 21 order of the SC, the BCCI president and the secretary both have filed their respective affidavits with the Lodha Committee. The Board says it hasn't heard from the committee yet and there's been no acknowledgement on the affidavits and the email communication either.

BCCI is looking to raise the matter in the SC today, citing absolute confusion in the matter that has led to all administrative processes coming to a standstill. The Board says, "there are contracts waiting to be signed, agreements with the England Cricket Board is pending, there's no word on the IPL media rights tender and there's hardly any time left for the 2017 edition and preparations need to begin."

The apex court, in a slew of directions, had sought appointment of an "independent auditor" to "scrutinise and audit" the income and expenditure of the cash-rich body besides going into high-value contracts awarded to various entities awarded by it.

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