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BCCI cancels ongoing New Zealand series: Reports

Last updated on: October 04, 2016 09:49 IST

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has reportedly decided to cancel the ongoing New Zealand series, which has a Test and five ODIs remaining.

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja of India celebrates the wicket of Henry Nicholls of New Zealand. Photographs: BCCI.

According to a report in the Indian Express newspaper, the decision to call off the tour was taken following Justice L M Lodha committee's direction to banks to freeze the accounts of the BCCI.

The daily quoted a senior BCCI official as saying: "We have no option other than to call off the India-New Zealand series as our banks have decided to freeze BCCI accounts. We don't want India to be humiliated in front of the world. How can we function, how can we hold any games now? Who will make the payment? Freezing a bank account is no joke. An international team is here, and there is so much at stake."

Lodha Panel asks banks to freeze BCCI funds

The New Zealand cricket board, however, denied having received any official contact from the BCCI in this regard.

NZC spokesman Richard Boock said, "It's the first time we've heard of it. At the moment we are preparing to play the third Test at Indore as scheduled."

India claimed a series victory overnight by winning the second Test by 178 runs. The third Test is set to start in Indore on Saturday followed by five ODIs beginning October 17.

The Lodha Committee had on Monday expressed strong reservation against the BCCI for disbursing "large funds to the various members associations" at the Indian cricket board's Special General Meeting in Mumbai on Friday.

Referring to the direction to the BCCI to not decide on anything beyond routine matters, the Lodha Committee termed the board's decision to release payments to member associations as "illegal".

"It has come to the notice of this Committee that certain decisions have been taken at the 'SGM' of the BCCI on September 30, 2016 to disburse large funds to the various member associations. 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," Gopal Sankaranarayanan, secretary of the Lodha Committee, said in a press release.

IMAGE: Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha. Photograph: PTI.

The letter, which is addressed to BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, CEO Rahul Johri and Rana Kapoor of Yes Bank, also talked about how the BCCI has openly breached the Supreme Court's order.

"You are also aware that the BCCI has chosen to breach the judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court as well as the first set of Timelines set out by this Committee which includes the Fund Disbursement policy to be framed by 30.9.2016," said the release.

The Lodha Committee also took the decision to email Kapoor because the BCCI has been doing all its major financial dealing for the last three-odd years with Yes Bank.

Therefore, both the BCCI and Yes Bank have been told not to disburse any funds until the Supreme Court hears the matter on October 6.