The state associations who have been resisting the structural reforms ordered by the Supreme Court have every reason to be worried now. On Friday, the Committee of Administrators (COA), appointed by the Apex court and headed by Vinod Rai, are set to have an important meeting in New Delhi with leading audit firm Deloitte, which had tabled its devastating reports on each state association to the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) last year.
The Indian Express understands that the COA wants to know the exact findings of the report and also whether the BCCI have acted on them. The COA has also called Lodha Committee’s secretary Gopal Shankarnaryanan and auditors of the Indian board to the meeting where the committee is expected to clarify a few aspects.
In 2015, after Shashank Manohar became BCCI president, the board had hired Deloitte to undertake ‘Project Transformation’. It was aimed at strengthening the organisational and governing structure of the board. The Deloitte report came up with revelations of gross mismanagement in many state associations. The BCCI later stopped annual grants to member units like the Goa Cricket Association but no major action was taken.
As far as the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is concerned, the anti-corruption department has probed them, the income tax department has hounded them and attached lands, the banks have taken them to court, and statutory auditors have found glaring holes. Deloitte lists many temporary loans in lakhs taken from various individuals — from committee members to unidentified sources — in cash and repaid without any documentation. Even the electricity department has alleged theft and demanded crores from HCA. The inefficiency extended to mismanagement of fixed assets, uncertainty over cash balance, gifting of gold to executive members, forged cheques, and unaccounted distribution of funds to districts and clubs.
In the here and now, many state associations have approached the COA for more clarifications before adopting the Lodha Committee recommendations.
The committee will be seeking Shankarnaryanan’s advice before replying to the associations. However, the COA has made it clear to BCCI CEO Rahul Johri that all matters related to the IPL will be taken on priority basis. As the IPL auction is on February 20, the committee feels the smooth conducting of the tournament is of paramount importance now.