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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Justice Lodha clarifies ~ did BCCI try to evoke sympathy of Cricket lovers !

Today NZ Herald reports that Auckland's next mayor is unlikely to stand in the way of Auckland getting more test cricket.New Zealand's largest city misses out on most international test cricket because it doesn't have an accredited ground.While Eden Park has hosted test cricket against India as recently as 2014, it had to receive special approval from the ICC to do so, and most test series in New Zealand do not include matches in Auckland.Most candidates are open to the idea of Western Springs becoming a boutique ground, which could have permanent ICC accreditation.

Back home, the lot of drama unfolding after Eden Garden’s test where India bagged the Series with a big 178 run win.    On Thursday, the Supreme Court of India will hear the BCCI's response to the Lodha Committee's status report, which had recommended that the board's top officials - the President, Secretary, Joint secretary and Treasurer - be "superseded" with "immediate effect" and replaced by a panel of administrators. The Committee said that such a step was necessary because the BCCI had failed to put in place recommendations passed by the Supreme Court by the September 30 deadline.

Holkar dynasty was a Hindu Maratha royal house.  The Holkars ruled as Maratha Rajas, and later as Maharajas ofIndore in Central India as an independent member of the Maratha Empire until 1818. Later, their kingdom became a princely stateunder the protectorate of British India.  Sun in their emblem asserts theirSuryavanshi lineage.  The dynasty was established by MalharRao Holkar who in 1720s,  led Maratha armies in Malwa region, and in 1733 was granted 9 parghanas in the vicinity of Indore by the Peshwa.

Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) is going ahead with preparations for conducting the third and final India-New Zealand Test at it's Holkar Stadium in Indore from October 8-12.   The stadium named after the dynasty, has  a seating capacity of around 30,000 spectators. It is also equipped with flood lights for night matches. Swashbuckler, Virender Sehwag recorded ODI score of 219 at this ground.   At a time, when the stadium was to make its Test debut, doubts had been sown over the conduct of the Test and the India New Zealand series itself, as the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R M Lodha Committee  stopped disbursement of large sums of money to the various state units by BCCI after it decided on this course of action at the emergent working committee meeting on September 30. Reacting to the Lodha committee's instructions to its bankers BCCI president, Anurag Thakur had said, "Most state units are unsure how they will be able to host games in this home season. They need to decide whether they can host the games or not, with or without money.

Immediately, Justice RM Lodha  defended and clarified the panel’s recommendations in the aftermath of BCCI’s threat  to cancel the on-going India versus New Zealand series with a Test and five ODI’s.  He said the panel has asked the board to only stop disbursing funds to the state associations and not stop routine cricket matters. On their part, a New Zealand spokesperson said nothing has been communicated to them either on that front and as far as the Black Caps are concerned, the tour was going ahead as scheduled.

Another point of contention between the Lodha panel recommendations and the BCCI is playing of next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and Champions Trophy. The schedule has India playing Australia first followed by the IPL and immediately the Champions Trophy in England. However, Lodha panel recommendations say there has to be a 15 day period before and after the IPL which won’t be possible if all three go ahead. This leaves India with the decision to take between the IPL or the Champions Trophy. Justice Lodha handed BCCI a lifeline on this dilemma.

Today, the Indian Express reports that the Indian cricket board’s (BCCI) apparent tactic to draw public sympathy and pressure Lodha Committee may lead them to further trouble. After the panel directed two banks to not disburse money, the BCCI late on Monday threatened to call off the New Zealand series saying there would be lack of funds.  Justice RM Lodha clarified on Tuesday saying the panel had directed banks to not disburse large amounts and had not objected giving out funds for routine administration.  Experts, however, felt BCCI  tried to ‘arm-twist’ and ‘misinterpret’ the committee’s direction deliberately  so that they could draw public sympathy.   The Lodha panel again sent a letter to its office-bearers on Tuesday censuring BCCI. “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 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.

The e-mail sent by panel secretary  to the two banks stated that the amount in question was only about the one cleared in the emergent working committee meeting held on September 30.  The panel is likely to apprise the SC of the developments on October 6. “We never told them not to release funds for routine affairs and conducing matches. BCCI are just trying to mislead to draw sympathy, and we will bring this to the notice of the court,” a source in the panel is quoted as saying.

It is not Cricket !! ~ lot of disrepute to the game !!!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

5th Oct 2016.

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