India and England are set to play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
New Delhi: The upcoming India versus England ODI and T20 series could hit a roadblock with state associations voicing concerns over lack of funds to host the matches.
With the Supreme Court removing BCCI president Anurag Thakur and secretary Ajay Shirke for their failure to implement the proposals of the Lodha committee, the financial transactions of the Board have taken a complete hit.
And while all the state associations hosting the upcoming limited overs games between India and England have promised to successfully stage the matches, they feel that this process of state associations bearing logistical expenses of visiting teams can’t go on for long.
Speaking to CricketNext, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) official Biswarup Dey said that CAB will ensure the smooth organising of the upcoming third ODI, but even the state associations are now running out of funds.
“Cricket is our priority and we will ensure the match is held to the best of our ability. But the point is that the funds are drying up. More importantly, the funds given to us by the BCCI is for running the game in the domestic circuit and for infrastructural expenses of the CAB.
“A one-off situation is fine where we host a game and the BCCI pays us later. But in the current scenario, we are yet to be paid the dues for the Test between India and New Zealand. The funds are now drying up and things need to be sorted soon,” he said.
The issue came into light when reports surfaced about former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke writing a mail to English Cricket Board President Giles Clarke to call-off England's tour of India, given the financial concerns.
Shirke has since denied reports of trying to sabotage the tour and told CNN-News18 that he is friends with English Cricket Board President Giles Clarke and speaks to him regularly. He further said that he will release the details of his exchange with Clarke when the right time comes.
A senior Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association official echoed Dey’s sentiments and said that the issue of funds being dispersed needs to be addressed at the earliest.
“See, we are all working towards successfully hosting the limited overs series, but the fact remains that funds need to be disbursed at the earliest. We are yet to get payment for hosting the first Test of the series between India and New Zealand.
“Stopping of grants is one thing, but to stop regular payments will obviously lead to issues. We need to understand that the logistical expenditures need to be taken care of by the board,” he said.
Kanpur is slated to host the first T20 international between India and England on January 26.
Orissa Cricket Association secretary Asirbad Behera also said that as of now the state body will be making the necessary arrangements for hosting the second ODI and hope that their expenses will be reimbursed soon by the BCCI.
“We have started preparations and we are confident of hosting a successful game. Yes, financial assistance is an issue in the current scenario, but we will do the necessary payments as of now and hope that we get the money from BCCI soon,” he told CricketNext.
With a long domestic season still in the wings — Bangladesh will play a Test match before Australia come over for a four-match Test series — things could get really tight if the financial impasse isn’t sorted at the earliest.