As the stand-off between the Indian cricket board and the Supreme Court appointed Lodha Committee continued, the England and Wales Cricket Board has said they are looking forward to the series in India.
An ECB spokesperson told the Hindustan Times: “We are already in India. There is no change to any plan. We are looking forward to the series against India.”
The England team arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday and will hold their first training session on Friday morning at the Cricket Club of India. It is an optional practice, a full training is scheduled for Saturday morning. The team leaves for Rajkot on Sunday. The first Test starts on November 9.
On Thursday, the BCCI had written to the England and Wales Cricket Board, taking no guarantee of being able to bear the expenses of their team on the scheduled tour of India.
“We have informed the ECB that as per the Supreme Court’s order, without the approval of the Lodha Committee, we cannot enter into any contract and clear payments. Hence, we won’t be able to execute the MoU with the ECB, which is a guarantee to bear the expenses of hosting the visiting team. ‘You can continue with the tour at your cost and peril’,” a BCCI official told the Hindustan Times.
“It is up to the ECB if they want to continue with the tour,” he added.
For every bilateral series the two Boards sign an MoU which guarantees the host board bears the expenses which include basic amounts like hotel stay, TA/DA and airfares of the visiting team.
India and England are to play five Tests, three one-dayers and three twenty games.
If the ECB decide to call off the tour, the financial implications will be huge for the Indian cricket board. The BCCI stands to lose approximately Rs 50 crores, including the broadcast rights money, per Test.
Till Thursday evening, the Saurashtra Cricket Association were going ahead with the preparation of the opening Test as per the schedule. It will be their first-ever Test.
The Lodha Committee has also threatened that the series could be in jeopardy unless the BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke file affidavits regarding implementation of the reforms suggested by the Lodha panel on the restructuring of the BCCI administrative set-up.
“The proposed MoU between BCCI and ECB concerns bilateral cricketing policy, the formulation of which is not a part of the mandate of the Committee. As far as payments are concerned, if they are to be made directly by the BCCI, no directions can be given by this Committee until relevant details are furnished by the BCCI,” stated Gopal Sankaranarayanan, secretary, Supreme Court Committee in his letter to the BCCI officials.
“To avoid any hindrance to the cricketing calendar and to ensure the continued enjoyment of the sport by its aficionados, the BCCI would be well advised to comply with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its orders dated 18th July 2016, 7th October 2016 and 21st October 2016,” he said.