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BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has pointed out that without directions from the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, the BCCI cannot enter into contracts IANS

The secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made a request to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to bear their team s expense in India, since the hosts cricket governing body is not in a position to execute the MoU signed earlier. In a letter to the his counterpart in the ECB, BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has pointed out that without directions from the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, the BCCI cannot enter into contracts. England arrived in India earlier this week, for a full tour consisting 5 Tests, 3 ODIs and as many T20Is. The tour begins with the first Test at Rajkot starting November 9. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England, 1st Test at Rajkot

According to the Indian Express, Shirke wrote to ECB secretary Phil Neale, “Dear Phil, I warmly welcome you for the upcoming cricket series. I am however at great pains to inform you that the BCCI is at present not in a position to execute the MoU between the Indian Cricket Board and the ECB. This is due to restrictions on execution of contracts imposed on the BCCI by a Court order.

“Certain courtesies such as hotel, travel and various other arrangements have been extended to you on arrival of the team in India. However, till the MoU is executed, the BCCI is not in a position to commit to paying for the same. Please make arrangements to remit such payments. The BCCI will inform you as and when further instructions are received by the BCCI from the Lodha Committee. I apologise on behalf of the BCCI for inconvenience that is being caused, Shirke continued. India vs England: 1st Test at Rajkot ready for DRS

While the BCCI had contacted the Lodha Committee seeking approval for the MoU, the Lodha Committee in its response to the board said forming cricket policy was not part of its remit, but that directions regarding payments could only be given after the BCCI provided more information about the transactions involved.

It is understood that Shirke then sent the committee the unsigned MoU via email late on November 3 evening, but despite being asked for details the email did not contain what the Lodha Committee wanted.

However, there is a larger issue between the Lodha Committee and the BCCI. On October 21, the Supreme Court had directed the BCCI not to distribute funds to state associations until they agreed to comply with the Lodha Committee’s recommendations, which the court had approved in an order on July 18. The court also asked Shirke and Thakur to meet the Lodha Committee in two weeks’ time and placed several restrictions on the board’s ability to enter into contracts, which forced the IPL broadcast and digital rights tender process to be put off indefinitely and prevented the BCCI from signing the MoU with the ECB.

The Lodha Committee then asked the BCCI for an undertaking from Thakur that the board would implement the Supreme Court order of October 21, a step that would indicate that the BCCI was willing to implement the recommendations of the Lodha Committee. As of November 3, Thakur had not given such an undertaking and he and Shirke had not met the committee either.

The Lodha Committee – comprising former Chief Justice of India RM Lodha and retired Supreme Court judges Ashok Bhan and R Raveendran – was formed in January 2015 to determine appropriate punishments for some of the officials involved in the 2013 IPL corruption scandal, and also to propose changes to streamline the BCCI, reform its functioning, prevent sporting fraud and conflict of interest.