The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) late on Monday announced that they will not be able to proceed with the Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights bidding process which was scheduled for Tuesday.
This is because the board did not get the go ahead from the Supreme Court-appointed Rajendra Mal Lodha panel which is trying to reform the Indian cricket board.
"In the absence of permission from the Committee to go ahead with the process scheduled for tomorrow, the BCCI is unable to do so," said a BCCI statement.
Eighteen companies, including social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter, had bought the tender documents. BCCI had appointed M/S Deloitte to supervise the submission, opening and assessment of the bids.
Sony are the current host broadcasters of the IPL and their contract with the BCCI expires after next year. The board is expected to award the rights for the next 10 years.
The global tender for awarding IPL's television and digital rights for 2018 and onwards was issued on September 19.
"It was expected that the new IPL season rights that were to be awarded would bring in huge revenue for the game of cricket and expectations amongst the BCCI, players and the cricket loving public ran high in the build up to the award of the IPL tender," said the statement.
"This was more so in view of the fact that the IPL has been successfully piloted by the BCCI with support of all stakeholders to become one of the important events in the world cricketing calendar and has apart from providing a platform for showcasing domestic cricket talent resulted in the country being projected as an important sporting destination.
"In fact the IPL has resulted in the active building of Brand India and has brought laurels to the country. The IPL has also contributed substantially to the Indian economy."
Meanwhile, the BCCI had received a copy of the judgment from the Supreme Court, issuing directions in relation to tender processes being undertaken by the BCCI.
As the Lodha committee was entrusted by the Supreme Court with the mandate of overseeing the tender process and in effect is now the custodian of the IPL tender process and has to take all actions to safeguard the IPL tender and the interest of BCCI and cricket in India, the BCCI wrote to the Committee on October 21 seeking guidance on whether to defer the IPL tender or to cancel the same also requesting that the name of the auditor appointed be intimated to the BCCI to ensure that he could be associated with the IPL tender.
Further, BCCI has sent all the IPL media rights tender documents to the Committee along with the relevant documents which are yet to be issued to the potential bidders.
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 BCCI has accordingly sent requests on October 23 and 24 to the Committee on the aforesaid lines and requested for confirmation of receipt of emails and an urgent response to avoid any uncertainty in the IPL tender process to avoid any inconvenience to potential bidders," added the statement.
"The BCCI has also received numerous queries from potential bidders explaining the hardship being faced by them due to the inability of the BCCI to address their queries and to furnish a clear roadmap on the way forward."
The statement concluded: "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."