Lodha Panel alleges BCCI of misleading people on several key issues

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Taking strong exception to BCCI “misleading” everyone on key issues such as disbursement of large amount of funds to state associations, the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha Panel on Tuesday said it was unfortunate that their directions have been “misinterpreted”.

Lodha Panel

On behalf of the panel, secretary Gopal Shankarnarayan emailed board president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke, treasurer Aniruddh Chaudhry and CEO Rahul Johri, highlighting a number of statements that has been attributed to the key functionaries of India’s richest sporting body.

The email states: “It is unfortunate that the directions/contents of the e-mail have been misinterpreted, as is evident from the press reports to state that the present India-New Zealand series is at stake.”

The e-mail clearly mentioned once again that banks have not been instructed to freeze BCCI accounts. “The Supreme Court Committee has not frozen the bank accounts of BCCI. Nor has it objected to the banking operations/payments relating to routine administration and conduct of cricket matches/tournaments/activities.

“This has been clarified in express terms to the banks concerned, so that cricket and the public are not made to pay for the actions of the BCCI governors.”

The e-mail clarified the exact objection of the panel. “What was objected to was the decisions said to have been taken at the Emergent Working Committee meeting of BCCI on 30.9.2016, to disburse large funds to the various Member Associations under the guise of increasing the annual infrastructure subsidy and to divide the proceeds of the Champions League compensation. We understand that these may run into figures of more than Rs 500 crore. Such decisions were neither routine nor emergent.”

The e-mail mentioned some of the press statements made by BCCI President Anurag Thakur regarding a forced choice between conducting IPL or playing Champions Trophy in England due to less than 15-day gap.

“The Committee is also surprised at the Press Statement attributed to the President of BCCI that if the recommendations of the Committee are implemented, BCCI will have to either abandon the plans to host the 10th edition of the IPL or pull the Indian Team out of the Champions Trophy to be held in England in June 2017. The out-of-context statement by the President is misleading.

“While dealing with IPL, the report had merely suggested that while drawing up the cricket calendar for a year, a gap of 15 days may be provided after a strenuous IPL season before the commencement of events in the National Calendar, to ensure that a cramped cricketing year does not take a toll on the cricketers’ body and longevity of their career. This does not in any way prevent some flexibility where the calendar has already been declared for 2017 when the Champions Trophy has already been scheduled.”

The panel instructed the BCCI to submit all minutes of last SGM/EGM by Wednesday morning.

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