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BCCI moves SC seeking funds for Rajkot Test

Last updated on: November 08, 2016 12:42 IST

Board of Control for Cricket in India President Anurag Thakur, right, and BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke

IMAGE: Board of Control for Cricket in India President Anurag Thakur, right, and BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke. Photograph: BCCI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, on Tuesday, moved the Supreme Court seeking disbursal of funds for conducting Rajkot Test that starts on Wednesday.

The apex court is expected to hear the matter later today (Tuesday).

Last week, a source close to the Supreme Court appointed Justice RM Lodha panel said obstinate attitude by BCCI president Thakur and secretary Shirke is putting the entire "England series in jeopardy"

However, the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) had, on October 24, said the directive of the Supreme Court which put a froze funds from BCCI to the state associations would not affect the conduct of the first India-England Test to be played in Rajkot.

"The apex's court direction to BCCI to restrict funds to its affiliated state associations will have no negative impact on the first India-England Test match," SCA Honorary Secretary Niranjan Shah had told PTI.

"The Test match or any international event cannot be cancelled or postponed for want of funds," Shah said.

"Generally BCCI's affiliated associations do not depend on funds released from the board, they (associations) bear the expense and the reimbursement process is a day-to-day procedure," Shah added. Shah said the SCA is able to host the Test on its own financial strength.

"SCA would be able to bear the match expenses, even if we do not receive the funds," Shah had noted.

Last month, the Supreme Court had choked funds to the state associations till the BCCI chief Anurag Thakur and the units "undertake to implement" the Lodha committee recommendations on reforms.

However, the orders does not bar the BCCI from executing a cricket tour and paying for the visiting team from its rich reserves.

On Monday, BCCI secretary Shirke told a prominent newspaper that their hands were tied as the Justice Lodha committee had neither set the threshold limit for them to award contracts nor had it appointed an independent auditor as per the October 21 directions of the Supreme Court.

Shirke said that board had, therefore, decided to file an interim application, insisting that certain basic agreements with specific vendors had to be entered into by the BCCI, and each of them would become a contract.

In case the Supreme Court does not pass an order allowing BCCI to engage in contracts, then the board does not see how the first Test could be played, Shirke said.

The BCCI will also ask the court to allow it to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the upcoming series.

The country's cricket board had earlier written to the ECB that they would not be able to execute the MoU between the two boards due to the financial restriction levied on it by the Supreme Court.

On Saturday, BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke filed their respective affidavits to the Justice RM Lodha Committee as per the directive of the Supreme Court issued on October 21.

In his seven-page affidavit, BCCI president Thakur maintained his stand about the inability of the members to accept some of the Lodha Panel's recommendations in totality and also sought directions under these circumstances.

Thakur in his statement also apprised the committee that despite members (state units) being categorically told that their financial grants could be affected, they had stuck to their stand.

The BCCI president also submitted a 50-page supporting documents which also contained the minutes of the various emergent meetings to discuss the reforms.

Thakur also expressed his regret for not being able to appear in person before the Committee on August 9 because the Parliamentary session was on.

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