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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

For Cricket’s Satrapies, Cash Is Karma

An audit of the account books of 27 state cricket bodies reveals a pirate’s chest bursting with financial irregularities, one more flagrant than the next

For Cricket’s Satrapies, Cash Is Karma
For Cricket’s Satrapies, Cash Is Karma
outlookindia.com
2017-02-22T17:19:33+05:30

Cricket statistics—that bri­n­ger of unadulterated joy—normally doesn’t cover this. Everyone knows, as a general but vague truth, that cash flows in the Indian cricket Board’s coffers like runs from the blade of an ace batsman—but exactly how much, and more importantly, how? In October 2015, Sha­s­hank Manohar, the then BCCI president, made a first-of-its-kind move towards transparency: he commissioned an audit into the accounts of all state associations. With its penchant for playing ostrich at the whiff of a scandal in all its 88-year existence, the call for a close scrutiny of the Board’s accounts shocked many.

Global consultant Deloitte Touche Toh­matsu was appointed for this exercise, termed ‘Project Transformation’. No one expected a squeaky-clean copy-book, but enough states would have dreaded the kind of hot spots that would show up on Snicko. Now, after auditing the account books of 27 state associations, and putting the expenditure and utilisation of funds well over Rs 2,000 crore under a microscope, Deloitte has come out with a damning and scathing report.

The document, accessed by Outlook, is like a scoreboard for scams, laying bare financial irregularities—like huge, unex­pl­ained escalation of costs in stadium construction, land bought at astronomical rates, contracts given to firms known to BCCI officials, bills worth crores submitted on plain paper and associations spending large sums on administrators’ privileges like travel, acc­­ommodation, mobile phones and cars. For instance, a few years ago, Hyderabad cricket association officials bought gold coins for the­mselves! Strangely, the associations left out of this exercise are the Delhi and Dis­trict Cricket Association, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, Rajasthan...

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