In a big relief to the BCCI, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the cricket board to release funds to Saurashtra Cricket Association for the smooth conduct of the Test match between India and England from November 9. The court has told the BCCI to release Rs 58.66 lakh for the state association.
The BCCI had moved Supreme Court seeking release of funds for the India-England Test match in Rajkot. The body wanted an order from the Supreme Court allowing it to enter contracts with vendors for the Rajkot Test. The Lodha panel recommendations require the board to put a check on its spending. The panel also recommended an independent auditor to monitor the expenditure during matches.
The Supreme Court in its order had frozen funds the state associations receive. There were apprehensions whether the match between India and England would be played or not. However, it was later clarified that the match would be played.
BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke said that the committee had neither set the limit to their expenditure, nor they had appointed an auditor to monitor the spending.
He said the BCCI couldn’t sign any contract in the absence of clarity. He said in the absence of the order, the match would be in jeopardy.
“We have other issues also regarding the England series, because we have a number of contracts to sign – DRS, caterers, the insurance policy, the insurance to be purchased; a lot of things. As per the Supreme Court order, we can’t enter into a contract without the Lodha Committee’s approval. Now, these are all contracts and the Lodha Committee was told (by the apex court) to appoint an auditor and set a threshold limit, which they haven’t done (yet). So the England series could still be in jeopardy in spite of England having agreed to make arrangements to remit the payments,” Shirke had told The Sunday Express.
Both India and England teams have arrived in Rajkot to play the match. This would be the first Test match in the five-match series. India normally host three-match series. This would be a rare five-match Test series in India. The last time England had visited India, they had won with a margin of 2-1.