What is the story?
Board of Control for Cricket in India observer Ratnakar Shetty has raised some issues like the absence of transparent tender processes, unfair ticket distribution, the presence of ineligible office bearers, and problems with vendor contracts against the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) which staged the one-off India versus Bangladesh Test match last month.
"It was observed that the tendering process followed by HCA is far from being transparent. Most contracts had one vendor bidding and in some cases, no bids were called," Shetty was quoted by Espncricinfo. "There is one vendor by the name M/s. Sanjay Maintenance contracts by HCA aggregating to a payment of approximately Rs. 10,00,000 (10 lakhs) per month and yet the same vendor has been given separate contracts for the similar scope of work for match days.
"The Interim President himself (Narender Goud) handpicked an agency for ticketing without any tender. One of the Joint Secretaries was involved with the award of contract for buses and cares for the teams and match officials. There was only one tender and quotations were called for use of vehicles for 24 hours - something which is unheard of."
In case you did not know
Just three days prior to the match in Hyderabad the BCCI was asked to appoint an observer for the game by the Supreme Court. Shetty was sent to Hyderabad the very next day and he told all HCA members that all payments would need his approval as per the court order.
However, by then the HCA had already given away the tenders for various services and though Shetty said he received a lot of cooperation to make the Test successful there were a lot of issues which he needed to tell the court.
The heart of the matter
One of the biggest issues noted by Shetty was the distribution of tickets. Despite the Lodha Committee’s recommendations limiting the number of complimentary tickets, Shetty found that the HCA had given away more than 25 percent of tickets as complimentary.
Shetty also reported that despite the Supreme Court stating that no state office bearer who had finished nine years in the job was eligible to continue in the role, Syed Moizuddin, former Vice President of the body was very actively involved in awarding the tenders and contracts for the game.
We have to now wait and watch what action the court takes against the HCA office bearers. If they are indeed guilty a hefty fine and punishment await them.
Since the Lodha Committee’s recommendations were implemented so as to eradicate corruption from cricket in India, if indeed the HCA office bearers are found guilty they should be punished or slapped with a huge penalty.