The Committee of Administrators (COA) today admonished Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) secretary Iqbal Shah for his ‘misleading’ comments about lack of funds forcing them to mull ‘pulling out’ of the upcoming Ranji Trophy.
The JKCA secretary has said that since the BCCI has stopped the annual grants, it will be difficult to field a team for Ranji Trophy, prompting the COA to term it a pressure tactic to squeeze out funds despite non-compliance of the Supreme Court directive.
The COA, in a strongly-worded letter, told the JKCA secretary to comply with the Supreme Court orders.
"As per the orders dated 7th October 2016 and 21st October 2016 passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the BCCI has been restrained from releasing any funds to non-compliant State Associations," the COA wrote in the letter to Shah, a copy of which is with the PTI.
The letter mentioned about a communication on August 23 between Shah and the BCCI, in which he had admitted about the association's "infamous track record in relation to misappropriation of funds".
The letter stated, "The Committee of Administrators has also noted certain media reports to the effect that the JKCA may pull out of BCCI tournaments due to lack of funds wherein you have been quoted as saying that this is due to inaction on the part of the BCCI and/or the Committee of Administrators."
It further said: "This is a completely misleading picture that has been portrayed by you and appears to be an attempt to pressurise the Committee of Administrators into releasing funds in a manner contrary to the orders passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, which will not be done under any circumstances."
The COA, then, categorically said that funds have been held back due to non-compliance.
"Release of funds has been withheld solely to comply with the orders passed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and, as mentioned above, it is non-compliance by the JKCA which is preventing release of funds. If cricketing operations in Jammu & Kashmir suffer as a result, it is the JKCA and its officials who are responsible for the same."
The letter clarified that all the third party vendor payments with regards to last season had been cleared.
"The COA was informed that there were various payments that were required to be made to third party vendors from time to time relating to cricket operations wherein the said vendors would supply goods/services for the benefit of State Associations but would raise invoices/bills on the BCCI," it stated.
"The COA was also informed that there were various instances of specific payments where, after taking the approval of the COA, BCCI had made payment of the same and debited the corresponding amounts to the relevant suspense accounts of the respective State Associations."