Giving a relief to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Supreme Court of India has allowed the BCCI to release Rs 58.66 lakhs as expenses for the first test between England and India to be held at Rajkot which begins on November 9. The funds for the remaining test matches will be released as per the directives of the apex court and the affidavit submitted by the BCCI.
In its appeal to the court, Kapil Sibal, representing the Board of Control for Cricket in India said, “As per the SC directive we are not allowed to disburse any amount to the state associations. If the payments are blocked, it is impossible for the scheduled first test against England at Rajkot to progress. Therefore, it is compulsory for us to release the funds and we request the Supreme court to permit us for the same and to save the country from embarrassment in the global media”.
Though the apex court responded positively to the BCCI’s plea, it has placed some directives in place before utilizing the BCCI funds. According to these, the BCCI will directly pay the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and other vendors for match-related expenses rather than transferring the funds to the state associations. Also, the court said that funds for the other four matches will be allocated only after the BCCI submits a detailed affidavit.
The BCCI has earlier written to the England’s Cricket Board to bear the accommodation, traveling and other expenses of its team during the series, explaining that it cannot do so due to the legal hurdles it has been facing from the Supreme court.
As per the Supreme Court’s order dated October 21, 2016, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) cannot disperse funds to the state associations until all the member-states and the BCCI files an affidavit in the Supreme Court, expressing their compliance with the reforms proposed by the Lodha panel. Till date, neither the BCCI nor the state associations have filed an affidavit in support of the Justice Lodha committee reforms.