New Delhi: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur, on Tuesday, lashed out at the Board's critics, saying that they did not get the recognition for the reforms that they brought into Indian cricket in recent times.
In an interview on news channel CNN News18, Thakur vented his frustration towards the board being demonised despite having carried out several praiseworthy deeds in the recent past, saying that the "nobody looks at the good work done by them."
"Bringing in Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman in the past (In the Cricket Advisory Committee), appointed Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble as coaches of the junior and senior cricket teams, appointed CEO and CFO, brought in hundreds of reforms in last 18 months.
"Nobody's looking at those reforms. Nobody looks at the good work done by the BCCI," Thakur was quoted as saying in the interview.
The BCCI chief, who is also a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - which is currently in power in the union government - added that the BCCI was the most professional sports organisation in the country.
"We are the most professional sports body in the country. We have not taken a single penny from the government to build a stadium. BCCI made many grounds in the country, hosted international matches.
"All other boards look at their national governments to create infrastructure. We contribute crores to the centre. We pay former, current and forthcoming players. Which other board in the world does that?" added Thakur.
After reports of the BCCI pondering over the option of cancelling the India-New Zealand series, Thakur refused to speculate on its fate but categorically stated that the game can not be run without money even as the Lodha panel clarified it did not direct the banks to freeze the cricket board's accounts.
Thakur said it was unfortunate that they were not allowed to release funds to the state associations, which depend on them for money for hosting matches.
"I can't talk about whether (the) series will go on or not but if players and associations are not paid, it raises serious (questions) at a time when the team is number one in Tests, number two in T20s, number three in ODIs. It's the most powerful board. We have created a successful tournament like IPL. We can't run the game without money," Thakur said.
"BCCI does not take any money from outside whether it's central or state government. Banks were told not to release payments. It is unfortunate that such a situation has arisen. Has BCCI not done anything at all these years? These questions need to be answered," Thakur fumed.
Taking an exception to the defiance of its recommendations, the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha panel had directed banks, where BCCI holds accounts, not to disburse "large" funds to the state associations, a decision taken by the board at its Special General Meeting (SGM) on 30 September.
"Questions are being raised about BCCI when we have increased the Test cricketers' match fee from 7 lakh to 15 lakh. Most state units are unsure how they will be able to host games in this home season. They need to decide whether they can host the games or not, with or without money," Thakur said.
However, Justice RM Lodha clarified that they did not ask the banks to block the BCCI accounts.
"We have not frozen the accounts of BCCI, we have directed the BCCI to not disburse funds to the state association. Day to day affairs, routine expenditure, matches, games, that should go on. There is absolutely no prohibition," Lodha said.
With inputs from PTI