IPL 2017: BCCI can’t buy match tickets to distribute as free passes

The Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) in charge of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has disallowed this year any expenditure on purchase of Indian Premier League (IPL) passes/tickets by the Indian cricket board to distribute among its officials and officers of various government agencies.

The money to buy these passes sometimes run into crores.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Committee of Administrators (CoA) head Vinod Rai confirmed that there has been an embargo.

“I had only said that BCCI will not buy tickets to give them on a complimentary basis to officials or VIPs,” he replied.

The issue cropped up when the office of a top Board official, who quit the BCCI post earlier this year on Supreme Court’s order, had purchased tickets last year during the World T20 and failed to provide details of the distribution.

Asked about this, the CoA confirmed and said that the decision to embargo any sale of tickets had to be taken mainly after that incident.

“That was the reason. Office of the former president bought Rs 76lakh worth of tickets and distributed them as complimentary. When the auditors asked (them) to whom, they claim(ed) the laptop containing details was lost. The amount remains outstanding. Hence my embargo,” said Rai.

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The embargo has left officials in a tizzy.

As per rules, 5% of the tickets are reserved for BCCI and 15% are reserved for state bodies.

Out of those 5%, sponsors and other stakeholders take their share, leaving only a handful for Board officials to entertain other parties.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said, “Sometimes, in cases of high demand, especially in Delhi and Mumbai, the reserved quota wouldn’t be enough as there are far too many obligations. So there was a provision for the Board to purchase tickets for officials.”

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These were meant to oblige government officials and agencies. Now, however, that quota has been removed.

Acting Board president CK Khanna said, “The purchase of tickets through the Board had been the trend for the past many years. But this year, Board officials are complying with CoA directives.”

Though there has been a demand to bring in some relaxation for the last few matches from officials, they are so far making ends meet by adjusting out of each other’s quotas. The convention is: those in other associations pass on their quota of tickets to officials of state units hosting a match for distribution.

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