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Supreme Court-appointed committee further clips wings of BCCI officials

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), asked by the Supreme Court to implement the Lodha panel recommendations, has curbed the travel and legal expenses of BCCI’s ‘acting’ officials to force them to fall in line.

cricket Updated: Mar 15, 2018 19:04 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Board of Control for Cricket in India,BCCI,Lodha Committee
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials have opposed the implementation of certain key Lodha panel recommendations and have been at loggerheads with the Committee of Administrators (CoA) in the Supreme Court. (AFP)

The Indian cricket Board’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) clipped the wings of office-bearers further on Thursday. In a fresh set of directives, the Vinod Rai-headed committee barred office-bearers from using BCCI money to meet legal expenses. It also said officials won’t be able to travel without the approval of CoA.

“Henceforth, BCCI shall not bear the expenses of any legal representation/advice that any office-bearer may seek from external legal advisers/counsel in connection with Civil Appeal N0. 4235 of 2014 and connected matters before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,” said the directives. It refers to the petition filed by the Cricket Association of Bihar based on which the Apex court issued orders for reforming the cricket body.

(Read | BCCI asked to probe charges levelled on Mohammed Shami by wife Hasin Jahan)

Hefty court fees

There has been criticism the Board has leaked money on both parties over the issue of implementing the Lodha panel recommendations. BCCI officials oppose the implementation of certain key recommendations and have been at loggerheads with the CoA in the Supreme Court.

(Read | Decision to increase top players’ money may eat into IPL revenues or state bodies’ share)

The CoA had earlier this month sought to remove the interim office-bearers – president CK Khanna, secretary Amitabh Choudhary and treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary. However, they have been adamant their tenures can be ended only at the AGM and since the meeting has not been held, the trio has continued.

The directives also restrict their travel. “The office-bearers and/or their respective Executive Assistants shall not undertake any travel, including but not limited to, hotel accommodation at BCCI expense without the prior approval of Committee of Administrators. While seeking such approval, the office-bearer concerned shall also communicate the proposed itinerary of travel along with details of the official work/purpose of such travel.”

(Read | Melbourne Cricket Ground to ban parking over security fears)

Payment row

While the CoA and office-bearers have also had differences over the issue of payments, the directives clarify that the final authority on payments will be the CoA, including the money paid out to players as per their contract.

The directives add that in case a payment isn’t approved by the acting secretary and CEO within three days, the matter will go to the CoA for a final decision.

Similarly, if a payment isn’t processed within three working days by the joint secretary and treasurer, the CoA may direct the other two signatories, GM (cricket operations) Saba Karim, and Chief Financial Officer, Santosh Rangnekar, to process the payment and implement the decision.

The interim office-bearers have not been too supportive of the huge raise given to India players in central contracts by the CoA. There was talk they won’t sign on the dotted line. However, the latest directives seem to have ensured they would be bypassed in ratifying the decision.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 19:04 IST