With England’s tour of India is just a day away, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday moved to the Supreme Court to seek the disbursal of funds for conducting the opening Test of the five-match series between two sides in Rajkot.
Saurashtra’s premier city, which have already hosted many one-day international matches, will host its first ever Test match from Wednesday.
Last month, the apex court had ordered the Anurag Thakur-led board to route all tenders and contracts through the Lodha panel. If the BCCI decides to go ahead with the IPL bidding process, which was originally scheduled to begin in Mumbai on October 25, without the Lodha committee’s approval then it can face a danger of contempt of court.
The top court had also directed the BCCI not to release funds until the state associations file an affidavit implementing the recommendations of Lodha panel.
However, the orders does not bar the BCCI from executing a cricket tour and paying for the visiting team from its rich reserves.
Yesterday, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke told the prominent newspaper that their hands were tied as the Justice Lodha committee had neither set the threshold limit for them to award contracts nor had it appointed an independent auditor as per the October 21 directions of the Supreme Court.
Shirke said that board had, therefore, decided to file an interim application, insisting that certain basic agreements with specific vendors had to be entered into by the BCCI, and each of them would become a contract. In case the Supreme Court does not pass an order allowing BCCI to engage in contracts, then the board does not see how the first Test could be played, Shirke said.
The BCCI will also ask the court to allow it to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the upcoming series.
The country’s cricket board had earlier written to the ECB that they would not be able to execute the MoU between the two boards due to the financial restriction levied on it by the Supreme Court. The top court likely to hear the matter later today.