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Lodha panel to appoint independent auditor for BCCI finances

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday said the Justice Lodha Committee will appoint an independent auditor to study BCCI's finances, including contracts involving media rights.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T.S Thakur said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will not disburse any funds to its state affiliates until they undertake to abide with the directions of the Court and the recommendations of the Committee.

The Court said both BCCI President Anurag Thakur and Secretary Ajay Shirke should file an affidavit committing to abide by it and the panel's recommendations.

The order also said that Lodha panel's secretary would send the copy of the order to International Cricket Council (ICC) Chairman Shashank Manohar.

BCCI President Anurag Thakur on Friday said he will read the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Lodha Committee to appoint an auditor to study BCCI's finances before commenting on it.

"What impact it will have on cricket, we cannot comment before going through the order. Once we get the copy of judgement, we shall respond. There are difficulties which have been placed in front of the court," Thakur told mediapersons here.

"I have full faith in the judiciary. It is the state associations who have to implement the Lodha recommendations. Once they get the order, we will have a discussion with them and ask them to implement," he added.

The Court, which was to take a decision on the BCCI's review petition against the Justice R.M. Lodha Committee recommendations on October 18, defferred the issue by two weeks.

The BCCI in its review petition had sought that the matter should be heard in open court.

The Lodha Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court, had proposed several far-reaching changes that could alter the way cricket is administered in the country.

The Lodha panel also sought the removal of the entire BCCI top brass, including Anurag Thakur.

The apex court in its July 18 judgment accepted the recommendations of the Lodha Committee on the organisational reforms of BCCI and had issued these as its directives.

With BCCI dragging its feet on implementing the changes, the Lodha panel later accused the board of stalling reforms at every stage and violating the directions issued by the apex court.

Complaining the BCCI ignored orders of the court and its recommendations on several issues, the Lodha panel sought action against the board's top brass, including BCCI President Anurag Thakur, for violating the apex court's orders.

Earlier this month, the BCCI's special general meeting (SGM) decided to accept some of the recommendations put forward by the Lodha Committee although the board also continued to resist the order regarding the removal of the BCCI top brass.

The SGM also decided to form an apex council to look into the working of the BCCI as per the report submitted by the Lodha panel to the apex court.

--IANS

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