The Indian cricket team landed in Rajkot on Saturday evening. Officials of the Saurashtra Cricket Association were confident that the first Test between India and England would begin as per schedule – on November 9. However, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke insists that doubts still hang over the upcoming series. This despite England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) agreeing to pay from its own coffers for the visiting team’s hotel stay, travel and other arrangements.
“We have other issues also regarding the England series, because we have a number of contracts to sign – DRS, caterers, the insurance policy, the insurance to be purchased; a lot of things. As per the Supreme Court order, we can’t enter into a contract without the Lodha Committee’s approval. Now, these are all contracts and the Lodha Committee was told (by the apex court) to appoint an auditor and set a threshold limit, which they haven’t done (yet). So the England series could still be in jeopardy in spite of England having agreed to make arrangements to remit the payments,” Shirke told The Sunday Express.
“We have submitted the affidavits, we have submitted the two-year contract details; we have submitted everything they (Committee) asked for,” he added.
In its November 3 letter to the BCCI, the Lodha Committee had asked for certain details to fix the threshold value and appoint an independent auditor as per the Supreme Court directive.
BCCI submits affidavits
The BCCI has reiterated its helplessness about “forcing” the members to adopt the Lodha Committee recommendations in totality. In their respective affidavits before the Supreme Court-appointed panel, both president Anurag Thakur and secretary Shirke have said that they are incapable of superseding the members, while seeking directives from the Committee.
Thakur’s affidavit has 19 items, along with the draft minutes of the cricket board’s Special General Meeting as annexure. Item No. 14 says: “I further state that as a (sic) Hon. President am in no position to force members to adopt the full memorandum as recommended, even though armed with a Supreme Court order, as the members are of the opinion that as per the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 under which BCCI is registered, they can amend their memorandum only when three fourths of the members present and entitled to vote, accept the changes to the memorandum.”