The Supreme Court has allowed cricket board BCCI to spend Rs.1.33 crore for the two Test matches still to be played in the series against England at Mumbai and Chennai. It has also permitted the board to spend Rs 25 lakh per match for the three One-Day Internationals and three T20 matches that India will play against the visitors.
The next Test begins in Mumbai on Thursday.
The top court’s sanction was on the cards, given similar concessions it made for the board for previous matches in the series. It also ordered the Board of Control for Cricket in India to submit details on revenue collections from the series. But the instructions notwithstanding, this would come as a relief for the cornered BCCI.
The Supreme Court had, after recommendations from the Justice Lodha Committee, frozen the BCCI’s finances just before the series against New Zealand in September, following which the BCCI had gone public threatening to cancel the matches if they did not have access to the money.
After the board played the “national pride” card, the Supreme Court had ordered the release of funds while putting conditions on how they would be spent.
The apex court had also directed the BCCI to maintain a book of actual expenditure which has to be furnished to the Justice R M Lodha committee for verification by its auditor who has to be appointed expeditiously by the panel.
The court has already fixed for hearing on Friday, December 9, the plea of the Lodha committee that former Home Secretary G K Pillai be appointed as an observer of the BCCI.
While permitting the BCCI to incur the expenditure, the court had made it clear that payments be made directly vendors appointed for various functions during the matches. In has to ensure that none of the money goes to the state associations hosting the matches.
The Supreme Court, in January 22, 2015, had set up the Lodha Committee comprising former Chief Justice of India Rajendra Mal Lodha, former Justice Ashok Bhan and former Justice R. Raveendran to determine appropriate punishments for Indian Premier League franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals and their respective owners for spot fixing and betting.
The committee was also given the additional responsibility to bring in reforms in the Board of Control for Cricket in India.