Lodha Committee will spell "death knell" of Indian cricket: Thakur

Defiant Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur has accused the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the implementation of its order on July 18 regarding BCCI’s administrative overhaul, of creating confusion among BCCI and state associations and tarnishing the image of BCCI and India by blocking certain bank transactions. Thakur even said it such treatment will sound the "death knell" of Indian cricket.

“If the functioning of the BCCI is hampered in this manner, it will surely spell the dealt knell of Indian cricket and of this institution which is more than 87 years old,” Thakur wrote in an email to all of BCCI’s affiliated units on Wednesday.   -  PTI

Defiant Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur has accused the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the implementation of its order on July 18 regarding BCCI’s administrative overhaul, of creating confusion among BCCI and state associations and tarnishing the image of BCCI and India by blocking certain bank transactions. Thakur even said it such treatment will sound the “death knell” of Indian cricket.

“If the functioning of the BCCI is hampered in this manner, it will surely spell the dealt knell of Indian cricket and of this institution which is more than 87 years old,” Thakur wrote in an email to all of BCCI’s affiliated units on Wednesday, a day before the Supreme Court is set to hear BCCI’s response to the Lodha Committee’s status report.

In the two-page email, Thakur explained his stand on the recent stand-off between the BCCI and the Lodha Committee. On Monday, the Committee had asked the BCCI to stop disbursing funds approved on September 30 from the Champions League Twenty20 settlement surplus to the state association until Thursday’s court hearing.

Following the BCCI’s threat to call off the ongoing Test series against New Zealand, the Lodha Committee on Tuesday clarified the routine funds disbursement can continue. However, the Committee advised state associations not to utilise funds disbursed between September 29 and October 1.

“There is thus still a lot of confusion of what payments can be cleared and in fact the Committee has stated that no payments are to be made to state associations and has also directed state associations not to deal with funds transferred by the BCCI,” Thakur wrote in the email, accessed by Sportstar. “Unfortunately, this also affected the image of India and the BCCI adversely as various international newspapers have also carried articles of the freezing and de-freezing of bank accounts of the BCCI.

“… Another flip flop is that the Committee states that no payment other than cricket matters ius to be made. Payments to associations are also for cricket matters. There is no explanation or clarity by the Committee for this,” Thakur states.

Specifying that “many” state associations “have written to suspend matches and postpone the cricket calendar” Thakur states he is “aware of the problems being faced by you for running of the cricket season with limited finances as a result of this directive. However, rest assured that the BCCI will do everything possible to ensure that the money which it holds in trust on behalf of the state associations is released is released to them for their use.”

Thakur has also stated that the Committee has “chosen to apply the (Supreme Court) judgment retropspecively to the question of tenure of office bearers”. “I fail to understand how there can be any pick and choose,” Thakur states, comparing it with the Committee allowing a gap of less than 15 days between international schedule and the IPL for 2017. “If the report is to be binding it should be binding in totality and not in parts at the discretion of anybody.”

Thakur ends the letter venting out his frustration at the Lodha Committee. “I also want to share with you that nearly every day we have received directives from the Coimmittee threatening the BCCI with contempt of Court proceddings for many of the decisions on routine cricketing matters. Most directives of the Committee end with this threat of issuing contempt of Court proceedings if the same are not adhered to.

“The BCCI has courteously and respectfully responded to such directives explaning its stand in the matter for the consiuderation of the high powered Committee. However, there have been no revert by this Committee on the explanations of the BCCI. Instead, in recent emails from the Secretary of the Committee, I and other BCCI office bearers have been accused of misleading people. If the functioning of the BCCI is hampered in this manner, it will surely spell the dealt knell of Indian cricket and of this institution which is more than 87 years old. We must all work together and strive to take Indian cricket to greater heights.”