BCCI vs Lodha: SC panel has had enough of board's blackmailing tactics to get funds for matches

The Lodha panel wants to put an end to blackmailing tactics indulged in by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to get funds released with the threat of cancelling international matches.

The Supreme Court-appointed panel, which was set up on 4 January to recommend sweeping structural changes in the bedraggled BCCI, has decided to approve international matches only in states/regions whose associations implement the panel's recommendations, even if it means hosting all the matches in Nagpur and Jaipur, where the associations have been compliant, a source close to the panel told News18.

 BCCI vs Lodha: SC panel has had enough of boards blackmailing tactics to get funds for matches

File photo of Justice RM Lodha. AFP

"Henceforth, starting with the series against Australia, matches will be played only in those stadiums whose associations have complied with the panel’s recommendations. If need be, Jaipur and Nagpur will host all the matches of the series. The other state associations have been given enough time to comply, but not anymore," the source said.

The source said that the BCCI has tended to "use public sympathy to get their funds cleared ahead of every game" but has refused to comply with the recommendations of the panel thereafter, citing unwillingness by the state associations.

It rubbished the BCCI's plea regarding the state associations' unwillingness, pointing out that the BCCI was the association of associations, and if the apex body agreed, the other state associations were bound to agree.

The source, however, noted that it was the Lodha panel that had called up the BCCI brass in the first place, on charting a roadmap for cleaning up the state of affairs in the board. It clarified that the panel was not keen to cooperate with the board till its recommendations were implemented.

As of now, only the cricket associations of Rajasthan, Vidarbha and Tripura have complied with the Lodha panel's recommendations and this decision could mean the tainted Lalit Modi's Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) would get an opportunity to host Australia when they visit India next year.

The Supreme Court is expected to pass its verdict on the long-standing spat between the Lodha panel and the BCCI on Wednesday.

The main points of discord have been over the age cap of 70 years on administrators, cooling off period of three years between terms and the one state one vote policy. Another cause of heartburn for the BCCI was the panel calling for all of BCCI's current office bearers to be replaced by a group of independent administrators, which they later amended by asking for the disqualification of office bearers of the BCCI and all state associations, who become ineligible according to the apex court's 18 July order.

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Updated Date: Dec 14, 2016 14:22:25 IST