The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Indian conglomerate Sahara "appear to be headed for a fresh round of confrontations," according to Vijay Tagore of the MUMBAI MIRROR. This time "the ramifications could be serious" for both parties. With planning for the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League started, the BCCI is "seeking the status of the Pune Warriors India team vis-àvis the IPL and Sahara is in no mood to make a climbdown from its sworn position of a demand for arbitration." This "effectively means a protracted stalemate and court battle which could lead to termination of the PWI team for Sahara and heavy financial losses for the BCCI." The BCCI has "dashed off a letter to Sahara" asking them to pay a Rs 174 crore ($28M) bank guarantee to "stay in the IPL but the costliest franchise has steadfastly refused to toe the line saying the only way out is arbitration" (MUMBAI MIRROR, 10/24).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Cricket Australia said that revenue rose 63% to A$684M ($660M) in '09-12 and is projected to reach A$1.08B "over the next four-year cycle," according to Dan Baynes of BLOOMBERG. The governing body said at its annual general meeting in Melbourne that it is "on track to achieve its goal of having cash reserves" of A$70M by '16-17. It "records revenue over a four-year period due to annual fluctuations in income depending on which national teams tour Australia." The growth comes even as Australia’s Test team struggles on the pitch, winning only one of its 10 elite matches so far in '13. CA Chair Wally Edwards said, "Financially, we’ve never been in better shape. A lot of good things are happening and we just need to win the Ashes now and I’m sure everyone will be laughing" (BLOOMBERG, 10/24).
BOARDROOM UNCERTAINTY: In Sydney, Peter Lalor reported CA, "under siege" ahead of an Ashes series England is favored to win for a fourth consecutive time, has "dismissed claims by Ricky Ponting the national side hadn't received the support it needed, with the board throwing its backing behind" CEO James Sutherland. In turn, Sutherland "has backed" High-Performance Manager Pat Howard. Sutherland "hit out at claims by Ponting that Cricket Australia came to the realisation that it needed to spend more money on the team only after sides such as England had passed them by." He said, "The reality is that through that period our expenditure on high performance and elite cricket grew from A$39M to A$75M. That includes player payments, but if you take player payments out, it grew from A$7M to A$19M. For the life of me I can't understand how that is a signal of an elite organisation that is not investing in high performance or elite performance" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/25).
CEO'S JOB SAFE: Also in Sydney, Chloe Saltau reported Edwards said that Sutherland "will keep his job as chief executive of Cricket Australia even if the Test team loses the Ashes five-nil." As Edwards expressed bewilderment that the CEO "was under public pressure after 12 years at the helm," a belligerent Sutherland lashed out at the suggestion made by Ponting. Edwards said, "There is no discontent whatsoever with James' performance and I am bewildered where the story has come from." Asked why he should not be held accountable for the decline of Australian cricket during his tenure, Sutherland said, "I am accountable to the board of Cricket Australia and they set the strategy for Australian cricket and they set my objectives. I am very clear on those objectives and what we need to do. The chairman and the board are the judge of my performance, the people who work for me are my responsibility" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/24).
The six unions on the European Rugby Cup "have come halfway to meeting the demands of the English and French clubs over the future of European club rugby," according to Paul Rees of the London GUARDIAN. The unions "agreed with proposals from the clubs that the two European club tournaments should both be 20 in number from next season -- the Heineken Cup has 24 teams competing -- and that the financial distribution should be split equally between the three leagues." The "two biggest obstacles to a deal," governance and operational issues including who would broadcast the event, "were deferred to another time, probably at the end of next week" (GUARDIAN, 10/24). REUTERS reported "the uncertainty caused by the threat of an Anglo-French breakaway tournament" means the four Welsh provinces were concerned "they would be unable to offer new deals to the players approaching the end of their contracts." The Welsh Rugby Union, which is "centrally involved in negotiations over the future of European club competition," said that it had "therefore stepped in to 'help and support' the Cardiff Blues, the Ospreys, Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons." A WRU statement said, "The WRU has offered to immediately assist to enable the regions to retain their leading Welsh qualified players in Wales" (REUTERS, 10/24).
The Supreme Court-appointed committee probing the Indian Premier League spot-fixing scandal has called on people having any information on the allegations of betting against Board of Control for Cricket in India President N. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan and other accused "to share their inputs with the panel," according to the PTI. The committee is headed by former Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and comprising additional Solicitor General L. Nageshwar Rao and senior advocate Nilay Dutta. The committee, after "perusal" of the Supreme Court order, "decided on its schedule of meetings." The panel was "appointed in the first week of this month." The committee "has urged anybody with information on the fixing allegations against Meiyappan and other accused to mail it to them" (PTI, 10/24). The PTI also reported former IPL Chair Lalit Modi's lawyer and Sri Ganganagar District Cricket Association President Mehmood Abdi has given a written police complaint "seeking criminal case be registered" against Srinivasan and some office bearers of TV broadcasters MSM/Sony. Marine Drive police station Senior Police Inspector Rameshwar Suple said, "We have received a written complaint on September 23 from lawyer Abdi who sought a criminal complaint be registered against Mr. Srinivasan and others. We have recorded the statement of Mr. Abdi. We are yet to record the statement of people against whom the complaint has been received. We have begun preliminary investigation, but no FIR has been registered so far" (PTI, 10/24).
Private investigators "seized a laptop" belonging to former Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid "within minutes of him losing his job as the head of cycling's world governing body to Britain's Brian Cookson," according to the PA. Staff from the corporate investigations company Kroll "were waiting outside the UCI's Swiss headquarters for the outcome of the presidential election" on Sept. 27. Within minutes of Cookson winning the election, he "had signed a form that was emailed to UCI staff in Aigle authorising Kroll to go into the building and seize any IT equipment and documents to ensure that nothing was destroyed." Cookson "has set in motion an independent investigation into the UCI's handling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and wanted to ensure that there was no possibility of documents or computer data being destroyed as part of a cover-up" (PA, 10/24).