The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today said it was indefinitely deferring the awarding of IPL media rights - broadcast and digital - which was scheduled for tomorrow as the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha committee is yet to appoint an independent auditor to oversee the entire process.
The tender process was in jeopardy after the Justice RM Lodha Committee sought clarity from the Board about the duration of the media ‘Rights Period’, making it amply clear that no independent auditor will be appointed before Tuesday.
In a detailed media release, the BCCI explained its side of the story about the repeated communications with the Lodha Panel and how its commercial interests were being hurt due to the delay in the process of awarding tenders, while "apologising" to the potential bidders - 18 - from across the world.
The release stated about BCCI seeking a directive on the process, details sought by the committee and the response from the board today.
"Keeping in view the urgency in the matter, the BCCI has informed the Committee that the tender process being underway there were certain timelines that potential bidders were following. The BCCI also informed the Committee that a large number of potential bidders had travelled to the country from outside as bids had to be submitted in person," the release stated.
It further said: "The BCCI, apart from the above communication, has so far at the time of going to Press, not received any further directions from the Committee, which is now the custodian of the entire process and has been tasked with the duty to ensure that the tender process is undertaken in a professional and transparent manner with least inconvenience to all stakeholders.
"Once the BCCI receives a response from the Committee it shall bring the same to the notice of all stakeholders as the BCCI is currently not in a position to take any decision in the matter other than what the Committee recommends.
"In the absence of permission from the Committee to go ahead with the process scheduled for tomorrow, the BCCI is unable to do so."
The Board requested the bidders, which include social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, to "appreciate" the current situation.
"The BCCI requests all bidders to appreciate that the events as have occurred were unforeseen and something over which the BCCI has no control. The potential bidders would appreciate that in the past the BCCI has responded to all queries to potential bidders in a prompt fashion and has conducted the entire process in a fair, transparent and professional manner.
"BCCI offers its sincere apology to all potential bidders and stakeholders who have put in efforts to put together bids by expending considerable time and resources, and have travelled from all across the country and the world to take part in this event," it concluded.
(With PTI inputs)