Indian cricket officials quashed on Tuesday rumours that New Zealand’s tour was cancelled as former Supreme Court judge RM Lodha denied reports that a committee headed by him had frozen the BCCI’s bank accounts.
Callum Elder, the New Zealand cricket team media manager, told HT the team’s plans haven’t changed.
“We are preparing to leave for Indore tomorrow and will start our preparation for the third Test,” Elder told HT. India won the series 2-0 after defeating New Zealand by 178 runs in the second Test that ended at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday.
Cricket association officials at Indore – which hosts the third test beginning Thursday -- and Kolkata said they had no information of the tour being cancelled.
“I have heard nothing of this sort. As of now, the New Zealand team is scheduled to leave for Indore tomorrow,” Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) treasurer Biswarup Dey told HT.
“We have received no such intimation from the BCCI,” Milind Kandmadikar, secretary of Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) told HT from Indore.
The third test and a five-match bilateral ODI series came under a cloud after media reports quoted an unnamed Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official as saying that its accounts were frozen after a recommendation of the Lodha Committee, leaving the board no option but to call off the series. But even MV Sridhar, the BCCI general manager (operations), said he has heard nothing from his employers in this regard.
Lodha – who headed a Supreme Court-appointed panel to clean up the BCCI -- also called the accusations incorrect.
“This is wrong that we have frozen accounts of BCCI. We have just written that decisions taken in the EGM (emergent general meeting) on September 30 regarding payments to state associations and any other financial matter should be on hold”, Lodha told ANI.
The India-New Zealand series was planned well in advance and it has nothing to do with Monday’s communication from the Lodha Committee to the BCCI and its banks , a Lodha panel source told HT. “BCCI is using media to solve its purpose. One should read our mail carefully what we have instructed to BCCI and its bank.”
The BCCI has had a long-running battle with the Supreme Court, which has demanded a raft of administrative and governance reforms for the world’s richest cricket board.
The board, run by politicians and businessmen and criticised for a perceived lack of transparency, said after a general meeting on Saturday that it had adopted a number of “important recommendations” made by the Lodha Committee but rejected others out of hand.