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BCCI money speaks across the board

The money BCCI pumps into state associations makes sure they stay united when its authority is questioned.

cricket Updated: Apr 05, 2015 16:41 IST
Jasvinder Sidhu
Jasvinder Sidhu
Hindustan Times
BCCI,state cricket association,N Srinivasan

The last time Ranchi staged an ODI was in January 2013 when England came visiting. Furthermore, the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) has staged just four ODIs in the last 32 years. Still, it was one of the richest state associations as more than Rs 111 crore reflected in the balance sheet as on 31st March, 2012.

If it was surprising the way state associations stood behind N Srinivasan, the then barred BCCI president, during the IPL match-fixing and betting scam trial in the Supreme Court, the answer lay elsewhere. The subvention system and subsidy policy of the BCCI pumps money into state associations to make sure they keep mum and stay united when the authority of the BCCI is questioned.

In 2003, the then BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya started a subvention policy of disbursing roughly 70% of the Board's revenue to 27 state associations under it.

The windfall

After restructuring of the ICC's revenue model, the BCCI will get more than Rs 3000 crore between 2015-2023. The state associations, which are getting Rs 22-23 crore yearly as subvention and infrastructure subsidy of Rs 50 crore for building stadiums, are likely to get more than double.

"Mr Srinivasan said a number of times that India should get a greater share of the ICC's income. India will now get more money and the state units will be the biggest beneficiaries. The BCCI is doing it on behalf of the state units because the board doesn't have any grounds," G Gangaraju, chairman of BCCI finance committee, told HT on Saturday.

Under the infrastructure subsidy scheme, BCCI member units had claimed Rs 764.03 crore till March 31, 2014, including subsidy for ground equipment.

The ceiling on infrastructure money is Rs 50 crore, so if a state unit spends that sum, the BCCI will reimburse it under subsidy for developing cricket infrastructure. There are plans to raise the subsidy to Rs 75 crore.

The magnet

The surplus funds at the disposal of state associations means that increasingly influential people are getting involved with them. Even for a state association like Tripura, where cricketing activity is limited, the board has ensured that the unit plays a key role in deciding who should be in power in the BCCI.

"No state association lacks money at this moment. Whether the UPCA (Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association) or Tripura, everyone gets the same amount from the BCCI but at the end of the day you have to use it for the development of cricket," said Niranjan Shah, a member of the finance committee.

As money flows in, misuse is on the rise. Top officials of the state associations such as Delhi, Hyderabad and Jammu and Kashmir have been in the news for multi-crore scams which are under investigation. But for BCCI czars, the tainted officials are vote banks.

"We are supposed to send our auditors' reports to the BCCI. If there is misuse of money, one can detect it. Like any other government department, the BCCI sends our reports to its auditors. So, the BCCI has a system to check the use of money given to the state associations," said Gangaraju.

Anything goes

During the BCCI elections in February, officials from state associations allegedly involved in scams were entertained by the BCCI, and few of them even featured in photographs with Srinivasan.

"Misuse of money should be a worry and there should be control over how it should be spent. Every state association is an autonomous body but it should be the duty of every association to ensure that the money is used for the development of cricket," said Shah.

The former board secretary believes money is not the reason for its ills. "Most state governments don't have the infrastructure for cricket. Since the BCCI is earning good revenue, it decided that every state unit should have its ground and infrastructure. With the money from the BCCI we can buy land and have our stadium," the Saurashtra official said.

First Published: Apr 05, 2015 16:31 IST