India’s cricket board BCCI is contemplating cancelling the ongoing India vs New Zealand series, after the Lodha Committee decided to freeze its bank accounts on Monday. The series has a Test match and five ODIs remaining.
“Now we have no other option than to cancel the series. If we don’t have money how will we organise matches. Who will pay? We also have a lot at a stake,” Board of Control for Cricket in India or BCCI sources told NDTV.
“There is lot of interference from Lodha Committee. Lodha Committee is not mandated to interfere in everyday activities. Players need to be paid. If they are happy to play the third Test without being paid, then fine.” the board sources added.
Justice Lodha reacting to the news has said that the BCCI were never told to stop payments on routine matters.
“It is clearly stated in the mail that we have told them to stop disbursing large funds to state associations. We have not told them to stop payments on routine matters. If anyone says something I can’t stop it. We have not ordered them to stop distributing funds on routine matters. Conducting a series is a routine matter,” said Justice Lodha.
Meanwhile, New Zealand cricket has said that the BCCI has told them the series has not been cancelled yet and the visitors will go ahead with preparations for the third Test.
India are leading the three-match series 2-0 with the third and final Test scheduled to start on Saturday in Indore.
Fuming at what it calls the board’s defiance of its recommendations, the Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to suggest reforms in the working of the board, on Monday directed banks where BCCI holds accounts not to disburse any funds for the financial decisions taken by the board at its Special General Meeting on September 30.
“It has come to the notice of this Committee that certain decisions have been taken at the ‘Emergent Working Committee’ meeting of the BCCI on 30th September 2016 to disburse large funds to the various member associations,” the committee stated in a letter to the banks.
BCCI president Anurag Thakur said on Monday that India may also have to pull out of next year’s Champions Trophy in England if the BCCI implements the Justice RM Lodha Committee recommendations in toto.
The Lodha Panel has suggested a 15-day window before and after the IPL. The Champions Trophy is scheduled from June 1-18, 2017, while the IPL is likely to end only in the last week of May.\
The Lodha Committee, headed by retired Chief Justice of India RM Lodha, had last week sought the removal of the Board’s top brass in a status report to the Supreme Court for not implementing the reforms which were approved by the apex court in July.
The next Supreme Court hearing is on October 6.