The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not a recognised national sports federation, sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal informed the parliament on Tuesday.
Sonowal said this in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha by BJP MP from Maharashtra, Raosaheb Patil Danve, whether importance is being given only to cricket and other sports in the country are in a state of neglect.
Sonowal said, "Although BCCI has not been officially recognised by the ministry, since the International Cricket Council (ICC) recognises it as the apex body for promotion of cricket in India, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports provides only clearance from the sports angle for organising international cricket matches in India and (for the) participation of the national team in international events abroad at no cost to the government, subject to clearances from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs."
Sonowal also told the house that the Sports ministry does not provide any financial assistance to the BCCI. Besides not receiving any government grant, the Board has also refused to come under the RTI Act.
Although, the government does not consider BCCI a recognised federation, as many as 47 cricketers have been chosen for the national sports awards down the years. Sachin Tendulkar’s glorious career was also recognised by the government, which conferred the nation’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, on him.
HT sought BCCI’s reaction, but it did not respond.
The cash-rich BCCI has been the subject of many questions in the parliament. In February 2014, a Rajya Sabha member wanted to know when the BCCI would be brought under RTI. The sports minster then informed the house that the issue was pending before the Central Information Commission (CIC) and that the sports ministry had given a written submission supporting the move. The CIC issued a notice to all concerned for adjudicating on the matter in July 2013, but the Board obtained an interim stay from the Madras high court.
In recent years, the parliament has also been informed a number of times of controversies related to the BCCI, including the allotment of IPL franchisees, spot fixing and betting. The house has also been informed of investigations into BCCI affairs by government agencies like Enforcement Directorate, and Income Tax and Service Tax Departments.