The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has asked the BCCI to share the contract papers and foreign remittance records relating to the now defunct Champions League T20 for which the Indian board had joined hands with Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa.
Those in know say that the ED notice spells trouble for the BCCI since the agreement between the three cricket boards was verbal — no formal agreement was signed for the tournament which was launched in 2009 and folded up in 2015.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a senior BCCI official said, “There is nothing in writing. It remains to be seen how the BCCI will answer the ED queries.”
The issue first came to light a few months ago when the Committee of Administrators (CoA) suspected a possible FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) violation in the Champions League T20 accounts. After a series of meeting with BCCI office-bearers, the matter was referred
to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Close to Rs 1600 crore — participation fees in 2009 and compensation package in 2015 — was said to have been transferred to the cricket boards in Australia and South Africa.
The CLT20 was conceived by Lalit Modi and N Srinivasan in 2008. Those in charge of the BCCI at the time the tournament was folded up were present ICC chairman Shashank Manohar and the new Minister of State Anurag Thakur. Anirudh Chaudhary was the treasurer.
The CLT20 featured top domestic teams from around the world. If the IPL was inspired by the English Premier League, this was said to be cricket’s version of the UEFA Champions League. Back in the day, it was the most lucrative cricket tournament. But it got off to a bad start with the 2008 edition getting scrapped because of the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai. The tournament featured the top two IPL teams along with domestic T20 teams from Australia, South Africa, England, Pakistan, West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
In May 2018, the ED had slapped a penalty of Rs 121 crore on the BCCI for an alleged FEMA violation when the IPL was moved to South Africa because of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.