NEW DELHI: The India-England series could be in jeopardy because BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke have not yet filed affidavits – regarding the implementation of the reforms suggested by the Lodha Committee – as per Supreme Court’s directive on October 21, sources told TOI. “Both Thakur and Shirke haven’t followed the SC order and haven’t filed the compliance report. Thakur was also supposed to furnish undertaking equivocally to the committee on how he would be implementing the reforms. That has also not been done. The England tour has been put in jeopardy by Thakur and Shirke,” a source close to the committee said.
The source also said both the top BCCI bosses would have to be blamed if the India-England series is called off due to an absence of a proper MoU. “Lodha Panel is still waiting for the affidavits from Thakur and Shirke and they would be blamed if something goes wrong with the series,” the source said.
However, BCCI sources said that the last date for filing the affidavits is November 5 and there is still time to file. Officially, the committee informed BCCI on Thursday that the “proposed MoU” between BCCI and England and Wales Cricket Board “is not part of the mandate” and no directions can be issued on payments “unless details are furnished”. The panel said this in a letter in response to BCCI’s several queries over payment details related to the England series at home.
“The proposed MoU between BCCI and ECB concerns bilateral policy, the formulation of which is not a part of the mandate of the Lodha committee. As far as payments are concerned, if they are to be made directly by the BCCI, no directions can be given by this committee until relevant details are furnished by the BCCI,” panel secretary Gopal Shankarnarayan wrote in his email to the BCCI bosses – president Anurag Thakur, secretary Ajay Shirke and CEO Rahul Johri.
Two days ago, Justice Lodha had indicated to TOI that the panel would issue a clarification after a series of emails were sent by BCCI. The former CJI had also expressed how the board would have to give an undertaking of complying with the reforms or deal directly with the Supreme Court.
Shankarnarayan expressed similar sentiments. “To avoid any hindrance to the cricketing calendar and to ensure the continued enjoyment of the sport by its aficionados, the BCCI would be well advised to comply with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its orders dated 18 July 2016, 7 October 2016 and 21 October 2016. You may also note that this committee is not a full-time committee, nor does it have a secretariat.
The members are situated in different cities and the committee meets as and when necessary,” he said.
The panel sought all IPL-related contract papers from BCCI within five days to determine the process of bidding for tenders. In response to the email, a top BCCI official confirmed that the board would be sending all the relevant document before the deadline given.