New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) The Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) is in danger of losing the rights to host the fourth and final Test between India and South Africa as the state government named a three-member panel on Thursday to probe alleged financial irregularities by it.
The committee originally included two members – sports secretary Punya Salil Srivastava and urban development secretary Chetan B. Sanghi. But Rahul Mehra, a Senior Standing Counsel of the state government, was also included in it later in the day.
The committee, headed by Sanghi, in its report will submit, among other things, a summary of the irregularities, if any, by the officials and members of the DDCA. They will also provide suggestions for revamping the DDCA to promote the game in the capital.
The committee will have to submit its report to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia within three days.
“The Delhi government makes it clear that the national capital should not be deprived of good and international quality cricket,” the state government said in a statement.
The Delhi government has also issued a 24-hour deadline to the DDCA to pay entertainment tax worth Rs.24 crore, failing which the fourth Test will be moved to Pune.
Former cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party MP Kirti Azad had raised the issue of financial irregularities in the DDCA, which prompted parliament to refer the matter to the home ministry.
The home ministry then forwarded the issue to the sports ministry, after which the matter has now moved to the Delhi government for further probe.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) this week set a deadline of November 17 for the DCCA to act on the issue in order to keep the rights for hosting the final Test set to start on December 3.
But all is not yet lost for the DDCA as the BCCI has allowed the state cricket body to release its balance sheet for the last three years.
The balance sheet, which has been signed by the DDCA directors, has been sent to the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
This means the DDCA is now likely to get a grant of around Rs.30 crore from the BCCI, which should allow it to meet the Delhi government’s demand of entertainment tax.
Meanwhile, veteran India opener Gautam Gambhir met Delhi Chief MInister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday to discuss the issues related to the DDCA.
Gambhir had a major tiff with DDCA officials after former India batsman Ajay Jadeja was appointed the coach of the Delhi team at the start of the current Ranji Trophy season. Jadeja later stepped down.
Former India spinner Bishen Singh Bedi also met Kejriwal recently over DDCA issues.