SC allows BCCI to disburse Rs 1.33 crore for remaining England Tests

The court also released an advance of Rs 25 lakh for each of the six limited-over internationals between India and England slated to be held between January 15 to February 1, 2017.

The BCCI chief Anurag Thakur has warned of chaos in Indian cricket.   -  Vivek Bendre

The Supreme Court on Wednesday authorised that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) could incur a total of Rs. 1.33 crore as expenditure for the remaining two India-England Test matches scheduled in Mumbai and Chennai.

The three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India T. S. Thakur, however, refused to entertain a plea of the BCCI to allow another Rs. 3.79 crore for six internationals – three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty-20 matches – between India and England from January 15 to February 1.

When the Board urged that funds were required for hotel bookings and other expenses prior to the Internationals next month, the Bench relented to allow them to spend up to Rs. 25 lakhs a match.

The apex court directed the BCCI to file an affidavit showing income received “on all accounts for matches already played and those scheduled to be played,” in the India-England Test series.

“What is the income from these Tests?” Chief Justice Thakur asked.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Board, replied that he could not tell as he had received no instructions on that aspect.

The Justice Lodha Committee secretary and Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan intervened that those who benefit from the Test matches were the very ones who stand in defiance of the Supreme Court's judgment to comply with the Lodha Committee reforms.

“People who are benefiting from these matches are these State cricket associations who have said 'no' to Your Lordships' judgment. Their stadia are used,” Sankaranarayanan submitted.

On hearing this, the Chief Justice asked who was in charge of the sale of tickets for the matches.

“It is the State associations. Some tickets are kept for the public, certain numbers are given to the BCCI and players to give out as they choose. Then there are passes. However, in Eden Gardens, we found that of 60,000 seats, only 4500 were available to the public. The rest of the 55,000 seats went to their own people,” Sankaranarayanan submitted.

“The BCCI shall show all expenditure incurred for the Test matches, including the past three ones held at Rajkot, Vizag and Mohali,” Chief Justice Thakur responded.

On November 8, the Supreme Court had ordered that the BCCI could incur expenses for the Test matches to be played in the India-England Test series till December 3. It had ordered the Board to bear the entire expense of Rs. 58.66 lakhs for the Rajkot match of the series.

The Bench had laid down that the payments should be made directly to the parties the BCCI contracted with for the series and not channelled through the State associations. The court said the same rule applies for the current expenditure of Rs. 1.33 crore for the Mumbai and Chennai matches.

According to a October 21 judgment, disbursal of funds from the BCCI to State member associations is conditional to the latter filing undertakings to implement the Lodha panel recommendations in letter and spirit.

On December 9, the Bench is scheduled to hear a report filed by the Lodha panel to remove all the present BCCI administrators. BCCI president Anurag Thakur has replied in an affidavit that such a move would lead to chaos in Indian cricket.