The Supreme Court lifted any doubts over the Rajkot Test going ahead on Wednesday due to financial constraints, permitting the Indian cricket board to spend Rs 58.66 lakh for expenses related to the first India-England Test.
The Apex Court, giving directions on a petition by the BCCI which suggested the match may not go ahead unless funds are released, said the national body can release money for for other matches in the series until the next hearing slated for December 5.
The board cannot release the funds to its state units because they have not given an undertaking to comply with the Justice RM Lodha panel’s recommendations calling for reforms in the board.
The court specified the payments be made directly to the parties concerned and to the England team.
The BCCI had wanted the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee to release funds to the Saurashtra Cricket Association, the host unit for the Rajkot Test. The Apex Court had on October 21 stopped the BCCI from releasing funds to state units till they accepted the Lodha panel report.
The BCCI, which refuses to comply with the court directive to implement the Lodha panel report in full, has already asked England to bear its expenses during the long tour involving five Tests and three ODIs and T20s each. According to BCCI, most of its units do not want the Lodha reforms.
Among several telling reforms, the Lodha panel has suggested age and tenure caps for cricket administrators.
Niranjan Shah (72), a former BCCI secretary who leads Saurashtra Cricket Association, will have to relinquish his position once the Lodha reforms, made binding by the Supreme Court in July, are accepted.
However, Saurashtra Cricket Association sources told Hindustan Times that it is “financially sound” to host the Test match and there should not be any problems.
While the BCCI was moving the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, the Indian team showed no sign of the Rajkot match being called off. The players trained and skipper Virat Kohli addressed the media with his usual upbeat mood.