England's tour of India to go ahead despite the hurdles faced by BCCI
The long term tussle between the BCCI and the Supreme Court has created a stir among the fans over several issues. Recently, England's tour of India was in doubt following the lack of funds faced by the BCCI. The latest news coming in from both the camps is that the series will go ahead as per the schedule despite the failure of both the boards to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
The state associations hosting the five Test matches- Saurashtra , Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai had already mentioned that they were comfortable in hosting the Test matches despite the BCCI's inability to provide funds following the Lodha panel's order earlier this month.
The England cricket team had arrived in Mumbai on Wednesday, but doubts emerged whether the series would take place after email exchanges between the BCCI and Lodha Panel revealed that a MoU had not been signed.
According to an order passed by the Supreme Court on October 21, all contracts that the BCCI enters into have to be cleared by the Lodha Committee. Matters directly related to cricket though are beyond the Committee's remit, which was why they had asked the BCCI for more information before giving their approval for the MoU's signing. On Thursday evening, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke sent a copy of the blank MoU to the Lodha Committee without mentioning any specifics.
Amidst the confusion over the Lodha Panel recommendations, Shirke has asked the England cricket team's operations manager, Phil Neale, to take care of the team's expenses during their tour of India. ESPNCricinfo quoted one of the spokespersons of the ECB as saying, "We are already in India, there is no change to any plans and we are looking forward to the series against India."
ESPNCricinfo reported that one of the BCCI officials had said the MoU could be signed once the series starts. "In letter and spirit, we can't sign it right now because it is part of the list we sent to the Lodha Committee. Unless and until they revert we can't sign something that we have referred to them. But ultimately we hope it will get signed," he said.
The BCCI official also said that the board's chief issue as of now was to look into the daily allowances of the England team. The ESPNCricinfo quoted him as saying, "The daily allowance is in the range of GBP 50-75. The England contingent strength is about 30 including the players and support staff. The BCCI will need to calculate the daily allowance for roughly 50 days for the Test series, and that amount will need to be ratified by the committee before the Indian board disburses the amount to ECB."
The Indian cricket team will be taking on England for a five-match Test series that is scheduled to start on the 9th of November in Rajkot.