The Committee of Administrators (CoA) has told the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) to stop painting a "misleading" picture about the BCCI's reasons for withholding funds to the association. The CoA has said such pressure tactics will not work, and that the JKCA's non-compliance in implementing the Lodha Committee's recommendations was the reason behind the BCCI not releasing the funds.
Iqbal Ahmad Shah, the JKCA secretary, had said earlier this week that cricket in J&K had been "severely hit" because all the funds were "exhausted" following the Supreme Court order last October directing the BCCI to stop disbursing funds to states that failed to implement the reforms. Shah conveyed this to the J&K players last week, and Samiullah Beigh, the team's most senior player, emailed CoA chairman Vinod Rai on Monday asking for his intervention.
The CoA on Tuesday rubbished Shah's remarks. "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," the CoA said in its e-mail to Shah on Tuesday. "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 also said the JKCA would be responsible if cricket were to "suffer" in the state. "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 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 CoA stressed that it had already put safeguards in place to make sure cricket operations across the country would not suffer despite the "lack of compliance" and "intransigence" of state associations' officials opposed to the Lodha Committee's recommendations. In April, the CoA directed the BCCI to release money to all third-party vendors who supplied resources to the state associations. The CoA told Shah the same procedure would be adopted this season too, once the BCCI's general managers, MV Sridhar (operations) and Ratnakar Shetty (administration), had given their approval.
The onus, the CoA said, was strictly on the JKCA if the state had to take part in domestic tournaments. "It is clear that the lack of funds with the JKCA is a result of the acts/omissions of the officials of the JKCA itself over the last several years and it is not the BCCI or the Committee of Administrators that is responsible for the same. On the contrary, adequate mechanisms have been put in place by the Committee of Administrators to enable payments for cricket operations directly to third parties on behalf of the State Associations, which the JKCA may also avail of by complying with the necessary requirements."
In separate orders passed on October 7 and 21 last year, the Supreme Court had asked state association presidents to give written undertakings that they would "unequivocally" implement all the approved reforms. The CoA pointed out at a working committee meeting on September 18, 2016, that the JKCA had resolved to appoint just an ombudsman, which was "just one of several reforms that are required to be implemented."
According to the CoA the "infamous track record" of the JKCA, which Shah acknowledged in a letter sent on August 23 this year, only made it pertinent that the state appoint an independent administrator to replace the faction-ridden administration currently in power. "The appointment of an Administrator for JKCA is necessary to inter alia ensure that the reforms mandated by the Hon'ble Supreme Court are implemented in letter and spirit and the affairs of the JKCA are brought back on track. Since you have stated that this is your intention as well, we fail to understand why you are opposed to the appointment of an Administrator for JKCA.
"Such appointment of an Administrator will only strengthen any efforts that you are taking and/or intend to take towards implementing the Hon'ble Supreme Court's judgments/ orders and bringing the affairs of JKCA back on track."