CoA warns JKCA secretary Iqbal Shah for threatening to pull out of Ranji Trophy

CoA warns JKCA secretary Iqbal Shah for threatening to pull out of Ranji Trophy

The COA, then, categorically declared that funds have been held back due to non-compliance.

Vinod Rai
Supreme Court appoints former CAG Vinod Rai to head BCCI. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has admonished Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) Secretary Iqbal Shah for his “misleading” comments about lack of funds forcing them to pull out of the upcoming Ranji Trophy. The state cricket associations have been complaining that they are suffering due to lack of funds, with Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) even writing to the CoA that they would retract from playing in the domestic tournament, due to the cash crunch.

JKCA secretary Iqbal Shah had approached the BCCI earlier in July, requesting to issue a letter to the state bank so that the state association could regularize its frozen account and utilize approximately Rs. 34 crore in its coffers. The state cricket association’s account was frozen by judicial authorities following allegations of financial misappropriation. The association has been marred by two groups fighting to assert their authority. Following a scam, the BCCI has not disbursed the state’s annual share to the JKCA since March 2012. Thus, for the last two seasons, the board reimbursed JKCA and even booked hotels for its Ranji teams.

Shah had also emphasized that since the BCCI has stopped the annual grants, it will be difficult to field a team for Ranji Trophy. The CoA, however, has termed the move as a pressure tactic to squeeze out funds despite non-compliance of the Supreme Court directive. The CoA has now released a strongly-worded letter, asking the JKCA secretary to comply with the Supreme Court orders.

Excerpts from the letter

The letter stated: “As per the orders dated 7th October 2016 and 21st October 2016 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, the BCCI has been restrained from releasing any funds to noncompliant State Associations.The Committee of Administrators has also noted certain media reports to the effect that the JKCA may pull out of BCCI tournaments due to lack of funds wherein you have been quoted as saying that this is due to inaction on the part of the BCCI and/or the Committee of Administrators.”

It further said: “This is a completely misleading picture that has been portrayed by you and appears to be an attempt to pressurize the Committee of Administrators into releasing funds in a manner contrary to the orders passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, which will not be done under any circumstances.”

The COA, then, categorically declared that funds have been held back due to non-compliance.

“Release of funds has been withheld solely to comply with the orders passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court and, as mentioned above, it is non-compliance by the JKCA which is preventing the release of funds. If cricketing operations in Jammu & Kashmir suffer, as a result, it is the JKCA and its officials who are responsible for the same.”

The letter clarified that all the third party vendor payments with regards to last season had been cleared. “The COA was informed that there were various payments that were required to be made to third party vendors from time to time relating to cricket operations wherein the said vendors would supply goods/services for the benefit of State Associations but would raise invoices/bills on the BCCI,” it stated.

“The COA was also informed that there were various instances of specific payments where, after taking the approval of the COA, BCCI had made payment of the same and debited the corresponding amounts to the relevant suspense accounts of the respective State Associations.”