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BCCI asks ECB to bear expenses of team's India tour

The BCCI logo on the Indians' kit Cricket Australia

The BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke has requested the ECB to bear the expenses of its team during England's upcoming tour of India. Shirke said the BCCI was unable to sign the MoU with the ECB at this time because the board could not enter into contracts without directions from the Lodha Committee.

"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," Shirke wrote to the England team's operations manager, Phil Neale, according to the Indian Express. "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."

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.