Four years ago, on January 2, 2017, the Supreme Court ordered the Chairman and Secretary of BCCI to ‘cease and desist’ from being associated with the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI). It followed recommendations submitted a year earlier on January 4, 2016, when the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee submitted its report to make India’s cricket administration transparent and accountable.
Since then, a number of questions have been raised about the functioning of BCCI, one of the richest sports organizations in the world with a net worth of Rs 18,011 crore. There is an overlap of functions and interference indices. There are financial issues related to income tax, court cases and arbitration that have not been resolved for a long time.
If BCCI loses even a few of these cases, it would have to pay through its nose, although no administrator would be individually affected as the organization would pay the price. No wonder a wary BCCI has since 2014 set aside a “budget” of at least Rs 830.32 crore for litigation.
In addition to income tax and service tax disputes, there are settlements made without signed contracts, arbitration issues, and more. which have been pending for a long time and which give BCCI a bad image. The current waiver, however, inherited most of the unresolved issues, including one relating to the 1996 World Cup which the BCCI co-hosted with Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“Certain issues relating to previous years, which were the reservation issues in the audit report on the financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2020, remain unresolved as of March 31, 2021”, say the independent auditors of BCCI in their report attached to the 2020-21 report. Although there are so many sensitive financial issues of great importance to deal with, BCCI has not filled the post of CFO.
All the members of the BCCI office, with the exception of the treasurer (he too has only 10 months left in his mandate), continue with defiance even after the end of their three-year mandate – including their mandate with state associations. The new constitution of the BCCI imposes a reflection period of three years after every three years of mandate for the members of the office.
“It is a constitution approved by the Supreme Court. If you don’t comply, it’s contempt of court. You should implement the reforms and ask for changes later. It shouldn’t be the other way around,” former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar told the National Herald on Sunday.
Transparency, too, has hit a whopping six as crucial decisions are delayed. The men’s and women’s players’ annual contracts for 2021-22, which should ideally be finalized before the start of the domestic cricket season in August-September, have yet to be announced.