The Supreme Court of India on Friday (21 October) delivered its verdict on the ongoing tussle between Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Lodha Committee reforms. In a ruling, which could have vast repercussions on the future of Indian cricket, the apex court barred the country's cricket board from releasing funds to state associations until they implement the Lodha Panel recommendations.
The top court has also ordered the setting up of an independent auditor to scrutinise the accounts of the BCCI along with the awarding of the contracts. The ruling assumes significance as the multi-million dollar media rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be awarded soon for the next 10 years, starting 2017.
"Not a single penny will be given to state associations until they comply with the Lodha panel", the court said, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
In addition to the auditors scrutinising high-value contracts of the board, the top court has also ordered BCCI chief Anurag Thakur to appear before the Lodha panel and implement its recommendations. That the recommended moves were not implemented was due to a number of state associations being opposed to it.
The freezing of funds is unlikely to hurt the functioning of the state units as they reportedly have huge sums of money in their accounts currently with the Indian cricket board releasing large sums of money in August. However, the ongoing Ranji Tournament, which is India's premier domestic competition, could be disrupted due to a financial crunch.
The next hearing will be held on 5 December.