The Lodha Committee has asked BCCI president Anurag Thakur to give an “unqualified undertaking” on behalf of the cricket board to “unreservedly comply” with the Supreme Court’s October 21 order. The Committee said it is yet to receive “such an undertaking” and clarified that “the undertaking is necessary” to implement the direction given by the apex court in its October 21 order.
“The requirement for such an undertaking is not a mere formality. In the absence of the undertaking, the Committee finds it difficult to implement the order of the Supreme Court by issuing necessary directions to BCCI,” the Supreme Court-appointed panel secretary Gopal Sankaranarayanan mentioned in his letter.
The missive, addressed to BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke, has also asked for Deloitte audit reports of four state associations – Orissa, Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir and Assam. These four associations, as also Goa, are already in the BCCI bad book because of different structural or financial irregularities. And submitting accounts of these associations, audited by an independent agency, might get the BCCI’s hands dirty. But the cricket board is unperturbed.
“We are not concerned. If they have problems, that’s for those associations to deal with. It has got nothing to do with the BCCI. It’s their headache. If some members are doing something, why should we be afraid? Out of the 30 members, if two-three members are not functioning properly, what can we do? We have already stopped their payment. I have done their compliance audit again, and as per the Lodha Committee requirement, I will submit the Deloitte audit reports of these four associations by tomorrow itself,” Shirke told The Indian Express. “Rajasthan’s case is sub judice and I don’t know why Goa hasn’t been mentioned,” he added.
The Lodha Committee’s letter said: “With regard to the Associations of Orissa, Hyderabad, Jammu & Kashmir and Assam mentioned by you, you are directed to furnish the Report obtained by the BCCI from M/s. Deloitte on State Associations, as well as any undertakings submitted by the State Associations pursuant thereto. This shall be submitted within 5 days from today. It may be noted that the question of release of funds to these Associations is also governed by Para 20 (i) of the Supreme Court’s order.”
In its October 28 letter to the Committee, the BCCI also raised issues like appointing vendors for IPL 2017, and domestic and international cricket seasons. The panel has responded to that today, saying: “Please note that neither identification nor appointment of vendors or contractors is the task or function of the Committee. The Committee is only required to fix a threshold value and approving awards of contracts above such threshold value.”
It has asked for certain details for the purpose of fixing the threshold value and appoint an independent auditor as per the Supreme Court’s directive. The details are listed as: “1. The contract value of each of the individual contracts referred to. 2. The term of each of the proposed contracts along with when each of the existing contracts is to expire. 3. The existing norms or guidelines relating to the appointment of vendors. 4. The tender processes followed for the different categories of vendors. 5. Whether the contract is done through e-auction or not. 6. The cumulative value of contracts under each category and of all of them put together.”
Asked about this, Shirke said: “We normally commence our work for the next year in October – issues like ticketing agency, catering agency, spy cam, roving camera in the stands; the contracts and tender process starts in October. This is what the Committee is referring to. We will compile all information for the last two years and will submit to them by tomorrow afternoon. The BCCI is a professional organisation.”
Shirke, on Thursday, has written another letter to the Lodha Committee secretary… “The data that you have asked for is in the process of being put together and will be sent to you as requested by tomorrow evening. “I however would like to draw the attention of your kindself and that of the Hon’ble Committee to the MoU that BCCI is required to execute with the England and Wales Cricket Board so that the England team, which has already landed in India, can continue its tour without any impediments.