The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has written an official letter to the England national cricket team’s Operations Manager, Phil Neale, requesting the England Cricket Board (ECB) to pay for their expenses during the upcoming India tour.
BCCI President Ajay Shirke reluctantly wrote an official letter to ECB stating that their funds have been frozen by the Lodha Committee and that they would be unable to take on the team’s expenses this time. The first line of the letter itself addresses how BCCI is currently struggling to uphold the very basic financial necessities to run cricket in India.
It said, “It pains me to inform you that BCCI will not be able to execute the MoU between both countries, due to the financial restrictions put on us by the Lodha Committee. We sought for urgent permission for execution of the MoU. We put in a request with the honourable committee again today. However, the Committee – while seeking further details, has refused to grant us permission to move forward with the MoU.”
The letter further stated that the BCCI can temporarily pay for arrangments such as transport and accommodation, but will need the funds remitted immediately. It also confirmed that they will not be able to pay for other expenses until the MoU is given a green signal.
Shirke added, “I sincerely apologise on behalf of the BCCI for the inconvenience caused. Members of the BCCI will be in touch with you when they receive further instruction about the MoU. Till then, kindly make arrangements to remit all payments.”
A source close to the Lodha Committee told Sportskeeda, “The BCCI has to confirm that they will comply with all Lodha Committee recommendations; until that happens, they will not get a green signal from us for the MoU and will have to continue to split funds for any tour held at home.”
A senior BCCI official lambasted the ‘poor’ governance of the Lodha Committee. He told Sportskeeda, “Are you not embarrassing the nation by taking such a decision? Just think about the reputation India has built over the years as the financial backbone of the sport, and now we are no different than any division 3 country.
“BCCI has been a financial pillar for other countries such as Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the past, now it’s not even being able to pay for their tours. Is this what the eventual goal is? Not just as a BCCI member, I’m humiliated as a citizen of the country,” he added.
The travelling England squad arrived in Mumbai on November 2, and are staying in a posh South Mumbai hotel. They are scheduled to leave for Rajkot on November 6, prior to a string of training sessions on Friday and Saturday. ECB is yet to respond to BCCI about the latest development.