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Monday, June 24, 2024

Lodha Committee offers clarification over BCCI’s NZ series-cancellation claim

The Lodha Committee has clarified that it has not asked for the BCCI’s accounts to be frozen, but only for two specific payments from the board to its state associations to be stopped. Payments required for other routine affairs – such as organising cricket matches – can go on as they earlier did, the Committee said.

It issued the clarification on Tuesday morning, following reports in newspapers a day after India won the second Test against New Zealand that quoted a BCCI official saying the board would have to cancel the remainder of the series because its bank accounts had been frozen by a directive from the Lodha Committee.

New Zealand Cricket, however, had not received any communication from the BCCI regarding the cancellation of the remaining fixtures, and the team was said to be preparing for the third Test in Indore as planned. They are scheduled to travel from Kolkata to Indore on Wednesday.

New Zealand have not received communication from the BCCI regarding the future of their ongoing tour© Associated Press
New Zealand have not received communication from the BCCI regarding the future of their ongoing tour © Associated Press


The communication sent via email by the Lodha Committee to two Indian banks on Monday had made no mention of the freezing of the BCCI accounts; instead it had directed the banks to stop two specific payments from the BCCI to its state associations. The payments were related to an increase in infrastructure subsidy to the states, and the distribution of funds received by the BCCI from the broadcasters of the Champions League T20 because of the cancellation of the tournament.

The Lodha Committee’s secretary, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday that the directive was restricted to just those particular payments and did not threaten the organising of the rest of the series or any other cricket.

He said the Committee’s concern with those payments was that they didn’t want huge sums of money being transferred from the BCCI accounts overnight. On August 31, the Lodha Committee had issued a directive to the BCCI not to take decisions on matters regarding the future that were not routine. In the committee’s opinion, the disbursement of such funds was not routine.

“It has come to the notice of this Committee that certain decisions have been taken at the ‘Emergent Working Committee’ meeting of the BCCI on 30th September 2016 to disburse large funds to the various member associations,” the Lodha Committee’s email to the banks said. “You are aware that by way of this Committee’s direction dated 31.8.2016, no further decisions were to be taken regarding the future apart from routine matters. The disbursement of these amounts are not routine, and in any case, not emergent.

“As the status report is to be taken up for directions by the Hon’ble Court on Thursday, 6.10.2016, you are hereby directed not to take any steps towards financial disbursement of the amounts as resolved/approved after the direction dated 31.8.2016.”


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