Although the Supreme Court has deferred a decision on the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to October 17, it has actually restricted disbursement of any fund to BCCI’s state units. This, by implication, is virtually freezing the accounts of the cricket board.
Earlier, there was a controversy over the freezing of the accounts of BCCI. With this, Anurag Thakur, the current BCCI president, may come under further scrutiny as he has been directed to file an affidavit on his conversation with the international cricket council (ICC) chief Shashank Manohar. Allegedly, the conversation involved huge money transactions.
Reportedly out of the 25 BCCI associations, 13 got the money but cannot use it as on date. Rest of the associations, too, have been directed to file affidavits to adhere to the reforms suggested by the Justice Lodha committee.
Cricket being the major sports of India today, overtaking the country’s national game hockey and all other games, it has become virtually a business with punting, satta markets, speculative bets etc. According to the interim order of the apex court, about Rs 19 crore could be disbursed among the 13 state units “only if they abide” by the Justice Lodha committee recommendations. The BCCI, too, has been directed to file its affidavit on the problems of the implementation of the Lodha committee recommendations.
On October 17, a final order may not come as further arguments on the decision of forming an ad-hoc body will continue. Counsel for the Lodha Committee may oppose any further arguments in the matter.
Since the world’s richest sports body has come under a massive cloud, the million dollar question is whether the apex court would topple the entire top leadership of the BCCI.
As the India-New Zealand cricket match is taking place now, many such questions are being asked at the corridors of the apex court as well as the stadiums. There is a fear that the Ranji-Trophy matches, too, may be postponed.
There is no law governing the BCCI, although it continues to argue that it has been functioning under the Tamil Nadu Societies Act, which the Supreme Court has declined vis-à-vis its recognition.
A way out may be that, in the absence of a law, a panel of administrators could control this sports body and abolish the BCCI and the government exchequer may swell and you and I need not give up gas and other subsidies.