BCCI trying to take cricket, players and fans for ransom, suggests Lodha panel secretary

Lodha panel secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan has clarified that large funds cannot be distributed to state associations.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Updated: October 5, 2016 10:34 am
BCCI, Justice Lodha, India vs New Zealand, Ind vs NZ, India New Zealand series, India NZ series cancelled, India NZ cricket, India NZ Test, India NZ ODI, Justice Lodha BCCI, Lodha bcci, cricket, cricket news, sports, sports news Justice Lodha (right) heads the panel looking into clean-up process of BCCI. (Source: Express file photo)

The Lodha Committee reacted to The Indian Express story, saying that nowhere has the panel directed the cricket board to stop its routine affairs, including the ongoing cricket series against New Zealand. The secretary of the Lodha Committee, Gopal Sankaranarayanan, also clarified that the instruction doesn’t freeze the cricket board’s bank accounts.

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“The email that was sent yesterday on behalf of the Committee, makes it clear that the BCCI is not permitted to distribute large funds to state associations without actually complying with the timelines of the Committee. The directive didn’t freeze the accounts of the BCCI at all and clearly permitted routine matters to continue. The present cricket calendar as well as the Test matches are part of the routine functions of the BCCI, which are permitted and can continue. This has nothing to do with the more than thousand crores that the BCCI top functionaries were attempting to distribute among the state associations prior to the Supreme Court’s hearing on October 6.

“Their (cricket board) attitude seems to be that unless you allow us to siphon away more than half the funds in the coffers of the BCCI, we will make cricket, the players and the fans pay the price,” Sankaranarayanan, told The Indian Express.

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Earlier, a senior BCCI official told this paper that they would be “forced” to cancel the ongoing series against New Zealand following the Committee’s direction to banks to “freeze the accounts”.

“We have no option other than to call off the India-New Zealand series as our banks have decided to freeze BCCI accounts. We don’t want India to be humiliated in front of the world. How can we function, how can we hold any games now? Who will make the payment? Freezing a bank account is no joke. An international team is here, and there is so much at stake,” the board official had said.