BCCI moves Supreme Court seeking funds for India vs England first Test

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking disbursal of funds for conducting the first Test between India and England at Rajkot which is scheduled to start from Wednesday.

Senior counsel for the BCCI, Kapil Sibal, mentioned the matter in court saying funds need to be released so that the match can be conducted and that the five-match Test series stands to get cancelled as there are troubles in getting funds from the SC-appointed Lodha Committee.

The board has been barred by the Supreme Court interim order to enter into any fresh contracts without the consent of the Lodha committee who are to appoint an auditor, who would then set a threshold limit for spending.
But the order does not bar the BCCI from executing a cricket tour and paying for the visiting team from its rich reserves.

“Right now, our hands are tied as the Justice Lodha committee has neither set the threshold limit for us to award contracts nor has it appointed an independent auditor, as per the October 21 directions of the Supreme Court,” Board secretary Ajay Shirke told The Telegraph late on Monday.

“We’re, therefore, filing an interim application. Certain basic agreements with specific vendors have to be entered into by us and each of them would become a contract. But we cannot sign a single one till the Justice Lodha committee has set the threshold limit.

“If the Supreme Court doesn’t pass an order allowing us to engage in contracts, which in any case won’t be big, then I don’t see how the first Test can be played,” Shirke added.

The BCCI had earlier written to the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee to guide on the terms and conditions and manner of execution of the agreement with the England and Wales Cricket Board as it “entails an commitment on behalf of the board for incurring expenses for the English team.”

The Lodha committee made it clear to the BCCI in an communication last week that “the proposed MoU between BCCI and ECB concerns bilateral cricketing policy, the formulation of which is not a part of the mandate of the Committee”.