CHENNAI: Times are such that no state association affiliated to the BCCI can afford a smile. The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is no exception. Like the other units, they have also not received their share of the board’s revenue for over two years. The shortage of funds has started affecting its plans and projects. Appeals to the CoA have not borne fruit.
The TNCA conducts close to 1300 matches a season, including men’s and women’s fixtures in different age groups. Annual expenses for cricket operations, staff salaries, maintenance and others come to around `18 crore, according to TNCA officials. With BCCI money not coming, the association is digging deep into its reserves to keep the show going.
“Nothing has stopped as far as conducting regular activities are concerned. But at this rate, it won’t be possible to sustain all this for more than a year,” said TNCA sources. “Where we are really affected is future plans. Academy projects and expansion plans have had to be stalled. All that we have been able to do is to keep the show running. Nothing beyond that,” the source added.
The TNCA is not the only state unit feeling the cash crunch. Several other associations are also experiencing the same. Many have written to the CoA asking for funds. However, going strictly by the Supreme Court order, they are not supposed to receive funds until they revise their constitution in line with the Lodha commission recommendations.
TNCA sources said they have done what was asked of them, but the CoA has not accepted it. “There may be one or two differences, not many. To hold back funds on the basis of those is a bit too harsh. There has been no dialogue between the state unit and the CoA. Even e-mails have gone unanswered,” said a TNCA veteran.
According to sources, in order to keep things going, the TNCA has been conducting its training camps from Chennai instead of having them in different districts. “That way, we save some money. This has become the bottom line. Whatever we are doing, is done with an eye on cost-cutting.”