Panel formed to probe DDCA financial irregularities

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has named a panel to probe financial irregularities by Delhi's cricket board. The State government has also imposed entertainment tax on the board, failing to pay which the Test will be moved to Pune.

Bishan Singh Bedi, in a press conference in New Delhi, talks about the ineptitude of DDCA.   -  Shanker Chakravarty

The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) is in danger of losing the hosting rights of the fourth and final Test between India and South Africa as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal named a two-member panel on Thursday to probe alleged financial irregularities by it. The Delhi government has issued a 24-hour deadline to the DDCA to pay entertainment tax worth Rs.24 crore, failing which the fourth Test will be moved to Pune.

The committee formed by Kejriwal includes the sports secretary and the urban development secretary, who have been asked to submit a report by Friday.

Former cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad had raised the issue of financial irregularities in the DDCA, which prompted the parliament to refer the matter to the home ministry. The home ministry, then, forwarded the issue to the sports ministry, after which the matter has now moved to the Delhi government for further probe.

Deadline of November 17

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had this week set a deadline of November 17 for the DCCA to act on the issue in order to keep the hosting rights for the final Test set to start on December 3. But all is not yet lost for the DDCA as the BCCI has allowed the state cricket body to release its balance sheet for the last three years.

The balance sheet, which has been signed by the DDCA directors, has been sent to the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai. This means the DDCA is now likely to get a grant of around Rs.30 crore from the BCCI, which should allow it to meet the Delhi government’s demand.

Meanwhile, veteran India opener Gautam Gambhir met Kejriwal on Thursday to discuss issues related to the DDCA. Gambhir had a major tiff with DDCA officials after former India batsman Ajay Jadeja was appointed the coach of the Delhi team at the start of the current Ranji Trophy season. Jadeja later stepped down.

Former India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi also met Kejriwal recently over DDCA issues.

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