New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India continued to avoid giving direct answers to the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee, the latest instance being no mention of financial details of the memorandum of understanding between it and the England and Wales Cricket Board ahead of the upcoming five-Test series that gets under way at Rajkot next Wednesday. Though the BCCI did get seek to get the Lodha panel’s approval of the MoU, there were no financial details outlined in |the document, leading to a continuing impasse on the matter. The panel has said that while it was not mandated to form cricket policy, payments would only be cleared after the board was more informative about its transactions.
BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke sent a copy of the unsigned MoU via e-mail to the Lodha committee late on Thursday but it did not include the details the SC-appointed panel had asked for. Both Shirke and board president Anurag Thakur have avoided appearing before justice Lodha nor submitted an undertaking that they would implement a Supreme Court order of October 21 agreeing to comply with the Lodha panel’s recommendations.
Alongside, Shirke wrote to England operations manager Phil Neale asking the ECB to bear the expenses of the team as the MoU between the two boards had remained unsigned. “Dear Phil, I warmly welcome you for the upcoming cricket series. I am however at great pains to inform you that the BCCI is at present not in a position to execute the MoU between the Indian Cricket Board and the ECB,” Shirke wrote. “This is due to restrictions on execution of contracts imposed on the BCCI by a Court order.
“A Committee has been appointed that is also to oversee financial transactions of the BCCI. The BCCI has referred this issue to the Committee appointed by the Supreme Court on 28.10.2016 itself and sought urgent permission for execution of the MoU. Thereafter I have also sent the hon’ble Committee a request again today. However, the Committee while seeking further details a short while ago earlier today, has not yet granted us this permission.
“Certain courtesies such as hotel, travel and various other arrangements have been extended to you on arrival of the team in India. However, till the MoU is executed, the BCCI is not in a position to commit to paying for the same. Please make arrangements to remit such payments. The BCCI will inform you as and when further instructions are received by the BCCI from the Lodha Committee. I apologise on behalf of the BCCI for inconvenience that is being caused.”
For its part, an ECB spokesman was quoted as saying, “We are already in India, there is no change to any plans and we are looking forward to the series against India.” England team had their first net session in Mumbai on Thursday....