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BCCI revokes Rajasthan CA suspension

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary speaks to the media PTI

The BCCI has agreed to revoke the suspension of the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) provided the state association cuts off all ties with Lalit Modi, the ousted IPL commissioner. At its special general body meeting (SGM) on Monday, the BCCI also decided to continue contesting the damages it was ordered to pay to former IPL franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala and the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA)'s attempts to bring Indian cricket into its ambit.

The RCA was suspended when Modi was elected its president in 2014. In August this year, Modi announced he was giving up all cricket administration "for now" in a letter to the BCCI. The board conceded the suspension has affected cricket in Rajasthan adversely. However, it was quick to remind the RCA that it could have no direct or indirect ties with Modi if the conditional revocation of the suspension was to stay.

The BCCI said Modi was not permitted to associate himself with the RCA in any direct or indirect capacity, and if any of the RCA affiliate members continued to do so they be disaffiliated. The BCCI asked the RCA to call a general body meeting to accept these conditions and withdraw all legal cases against the BCCI, with further stipulation that if this resolution was breached in future it would result in automatic suspension without the need of a show-cause notice or other suspension proceedings.

The BCCI's hand was not as heavy in the other legal matter that was on the SGM's agenda. An arbitration commission had in 2015 awarded Kochi Tuskers INR 550 crore after the franchise had contested its dismissal two years into its existence. The BCCI had also encashed the bank guarantee. The BCCI is yet to pay the amount, and is now set to continue the challenge in the Bombay High Court.

"The arbitration commission had awarded an arbitral award in favour of the Kochi franchisee, which has been challenged by the BCCI in the Bombay High Court," Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI acting secretary, said. "However, there was also interaction with the erstwhile IPL franchisee. And whether we could come to an amicable out-of-court settlement. A consistent effort was made and both routes were presented to the general body today. The general body thought we must follow the legal route and not settle out of court. So we will continue with the challenge made in the court."

The award, meanwhile, has increased to INR 850 adding the 18% annual penalty in case of non-payment.

The BCCI has received letters from the NADA and the government of India to implement the anti-doping programme through the offices of the NADA, which is recognised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but the general body reiterated its stance of resisting the push.

"We made our own response, which is exhaustive and essentially says we are WADA-compliant because the ICC Code is WADA-compliant and we are ICC Code-compliant," Choudhary said. "That is the essence of it. If you go further, we go through the same procedures and labs and observe same therapeutic exemptions as mandated by the WADA. We are doing exactly what WADA wants us to do."

Choudhary wouldn't say what the BCCI's reservations against the NADA were but it is understood that the BCCI does not want to be recognised as a national sports federation - those are run by the government of India - and agreeing to come under the umbrella of a government agency could in the future threaten its autonomy.