After ‘coaxing’ and ‘cajoling’ the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) trying to ‘convince’ it? The IOA has sought Rs100 crore from the BCCI for the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi between October 3 and 14.
IOA chief Suresh Kalmadi has written to BCCI president Shashank Manohar to sponsor the event. The request comes less than a month after the IOA wrote to the sports ministry asking it to force the BCCI to change the schedule of the India-Australia series, which clashes with the Games.
Kalmadi’s request, it is learnt, is due to the cash crunch faced by the organisers of the event. He is believed to have spoken to former BCCI president Sharad Pawar before making the request.
Though Kalmadi and IOA secretary-general Randhir Singh could not be reached for comment, a top BCCI official told DNA that Manohar has received the request. A decision on the matter is likely to be taken during the BCCI working committee meeting in Mumbai on July 31.
But the BCCI is not in favour of granting the money since the officials are unhappy with the comments passed by Kalmadi & Co about cricket. “Initially, they tried to force us to change the dates for the Australia series through the sports ministry,” a BCCI official said.
“We found no reason to do that because no match is scheduled in New Delhi and the series will not be telecast on Doordarshan, the broadcaster for the Games. The Games and the series don’t clash at all.”
BCCI officials are also unhappy that the government has cancelled the income-tax waiver to the board. The cancellation, BCCI claims, was on a flimsy technical ground following the board’s delay in informing constitutional amendment about sanctioning Rs50 crore for the development of other sports in the country. The amendment was made when Pawar was BCCI president.
Such a request to the BCCI is not without a precedent. Last year, the All-India Football Federation had sought a grant of Rs25 crore and the BCCI had agreed to pay the money over two years.