J&K may pull out of Ranji Trophy

Faced with a severe cash crunch due to non-payment of dues from the BCCI, they may withdraw from some of the tournaments, if not all, in the forthcoming domestic season.

Ever since the JKCA was mired in allegations of financial misappropriation since 2012, judicial authorities have frozen its account.   -  Nissar Ahmad

Faced with a severe cash crunch due to non-payment of its due from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) may well be forced to withdraw from at least some of, if not all, the tournaments, including the Ranji Trophy, for the forthcoming domestic season.

Ever since the JKCA was mired in allegations of financial misappropriation since 2012, judicial authorities have frozen its account. Moreover, the BCCI has not disbursed its share of annual subvention.

“To regularise our bank account and utilise approximately Rs. 34 crore, we need the BCCI letter to the bank. But neither the board officials nor the CEO nor the Committee of Administrators have been issuing the letter,” Iqbal Ahmed Shah, JKCA secretary, told Sportstar on Sunday from Srinagar.

“As a result, we have as good zero balance at our disposal. We cannot use the frozen funds nor has the BCCI released any money since March 2012. Besides a nominal reimbursement of expenses in 2015 and 2016, the BCCI still has withheld more than Rs. 150 crore. It takes around seven to eight crore to manage expenses of all teams throughout the season. If the board doesn’t act, we would be forced to pull out of a few, if not all, matches in the domestic season.”

Shah added that he has been running from pillar to post over the last six months but none of the office-bearers have responded favourably. “The CEO (Rahul Johri) doesn’t even acknowledge an email, let alone responding to it. The CoA says it is up to the general body and the general body is not going to be convened only for our issue. When the BCCI recently disbursed one-time benefit to former cricketers without the approval of the general body, why can’t they do the same when it comes to JKCA?,” asked Shah, who was elected secretary in July 2016.

“When I have submitted an affidavit assuring we will implement the Lodha Committee reforms, I don’t understand why should we receive such treatment.”

While Johri remained unavailable for a comment, a source close to CoA revealed that the issue was discussed during its meeting in New Delhi on Friday. “It’s a complicated issue. Of the three signatories registered with the bank for the frozen funds, only Shah is eligible following the Lodha reforms. And nobody is going to take the risk of authorising only one person of an association, which has a history of corrupt officials,” the source said.