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BCCI threatens to cancel India-NZ series; mail misinterpreted, says Lodha Panel

News Agencies | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:46 IST

Asserting that the accounts of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have not been frozen, Justice RM Lodha on 4 October confirmed that his Panel had only asked banks to restrain the disbursement of large funds by the country's cricket board to the state associations.

Justice Lodha further insisted that routine expenses for matches, games, cricketing activity and another administrative matter were not put on hold.

"There is no question of cancellation of any game or series. The directive which we shot to the BCCI yesterday in our email is confined to disbursement of large funds to the state associations and banks have been directed to compliance of that, nothing beyond that. Routine expenses for matches, games, cricketing activity, another administrative matter are not at all restrained."

"There is absolutely no prohibition. There is no constraint. The accounts of BCCI have not been frozen. Rather I would say this is a misinterpretation of the email about something which it doesn't say," the 67-year-old told ANI.

Earlier, there were reports that the BCCI had been contemplating to call off the ongoing series between India and New Zealand as their banks decided to freeze their accounts.

Insisting that the banks have not been asked to stop the money flow for routine matters, Justice Lodha said there was no point in calling off the series, which still has a Test and five ODIs remaining.

"There is absolutely no constraint on the BCCI to go on with the routine matters. The banks have not been asked not to allow BCCI to operate their accounts. There is no freezing of the accounts of the BCCI," he insisted.

"If there is any confusion, I have already clarified. And I will ask our secretary to clarify. We don't want that any confusion about the game. No well-wisher of the game would do anything which will affect the game or the interest of the game, which in any way affects the passion which people of India have in the game of cricket. Nothing can be done and nothing will be done. And I think the game should go on," Justice Lodha added.

While defending the Lodha committee's decision to submit a report to the Supreme Court about the impediments by the country's cricket board in implementation of the Panel's recommendations, Justice Lodha said they had done what they had been asked to do by the apex court.

"You should understand that we have been mandated by the Supreme Court to supervise implementation of its judgment of 18 July. And we accordingly framed timelines and all our directives are in furtherance of the mandate that had been given by the Supreme Court to the committee."

"Now, the matter is before the Supreme Court on 6 October in our report as we found there were impediments in the implementation of the timelines which committee provided to the BCCI. Now, the court has called up to the BCCI to submit their response which BCCI will definitely do and court would take the call," he insisted.

Last week, the Justice Lodha Committee had submitted its status report with the Supreme Court, accusing the BCCI of defying the apex court's orders and stalling its proposed reforms.

In its report, the Supreme Court-appointed Panel stated that the BCCI was not implementing its recommendations aimed at reforming the country's cricket governing body.

The move came after the BCCI appointed a five-member selection committee during its Annual General Meeting on 21 September, which was in violation of the Lodha Panel's guidelines.

Tearing into the BCCI for ignoring the directions of the Lodha Panel, the apex court had directed the cricket governing body to respond to the Panel's report before 6 October.

In its 1 October Special General Meeting, the BCCI had accepted many of the "significant recommendations" of the Lodha Committee, however, it excluded the important ones which have been the bone of contention between the cricket body and the Lodha Panel.

The recommendations, which have still not been accepted by the 30-member committee are - one-state one-vote, age limit of 70 years, cooling-off period of three years which included the tenure of the administrators, continue with the five-selectors and keeping to retaining the powers of the president and secretary as per the earlier constitution of the board are the other recommendations.


First published: 4 October 2016, 12:35 IST