India threatens to cancel England Test in funds row
MUMBAI: India’s cricket board threatened Tuesday to cancel the first Test against England, less than 24 hours before it was due to begin, unless judges end a freeze on its bank accounts.
The supreme court last month ruled that the board would have to seek prior approval from a special panel investigating its governance in order to release funds to state associations which host Test matches.
But in a petition filed to the apex court on the eve of the start of the first Test in Rajkot, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the order meant it was impossible to cover the running costs of the match.
“Unless money is disbursed to the board, the match between India and England can’t take place,” said the petition which is due to be heard later in the day.
The court slapped the restrictions on the BCCI’s accounts after the board failed to implement a series of reforms that had been recommended by a panel headed by a former top judge, Rajendra Mal Lodha.
The Lodha panel had earlier accused the BCCI officials of “behaving like lords”, after they repeatedly ignored the deadlines to implement reforms of what is world cricket’s wealthiest and most powerful board.
The BCCI has insisted it is not “running away” from implementing the reforms after scandals including accusations of corruption and match-fixing in the glitzy Indian Premier League.
India and England are due to play five Test matches in November and December.