BCCI vs Lodha panel: IPL-rights bidding process likely to be delayed

Mumbai [India], Oct.23 : The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to postpone the bidding process for Indian Premier League (IPL) broadcast, digital and media rights in the wake of the fresh order given by Supreme Court on Friday over the recommendation of the Justice (Retd.) R.M.

Lodha-led panel. Earlier, the apex court had ordered the Anurag Thakur-led board to route all tenders and contracts through the Lodha panel.

If the BCCI decides to go ahead with the bidding process, which is originally scheduled to begin in Mumbai on October 25, without the Lodha committee's approval then it can face a danger of contempt of court.

Meanwhile, the Lodha committee is yet to decide when they will conduct their next meeting on the apex court's order.

On Friday, the top court also directed the BCCI not to release funds until the state associations file an affidavit implementing the recommendations of Lodha panel.

The apex court asked the Lodha panel to appoint an independent auditor to scrutinise BCCI's accounts and also to fix a limit on the financial transactions of the cricket board.

BCCI president Anurag Thakur and board secretary Ajay Shirke were also asked to file a compliance report affidavit within two weeks regarding the implementation of the cricket reforms suggested by the apex-court appointed panel.

The court will next hear the matter on December 5. After the apex court pronounced the order, Shirke informed that the board had sent an email to the Lodha committee asking for direction on whether the BCCI could conduct IPL bids on Tuesday.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the BCCI also sent the committee all necessary details, including the paperwork submitted by the 18 bidders that had bought the invitation to tender (ITT) document.

"We have sought advice from the Lodha Committee. The BCCI is already prepared for the bidding process to be postponed. The board official said that even if the committee were to give it the nod, the BCCI would be faced with "logistical" issues to conduct the bidding on Tuesday," a senior BCCI official said.

"If they say go ahead, we will do that on October 25. But it would be a very big challenge for the board. So we will just change the date by one or two days," he added. Earlier in September, the BCCI announced an open tender process for allocating the IPL's global broadcasting rights for the next 10 years.

At present, Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) is holding the rights of the IPL. However, their deal is going to an end after the event's next edition..

Source: ANI