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BYJU’S Divya Gokulnath Calls BCCI Dues Reports ‘Hearsay’

After media reports on edtech major BYJU’S owes BCCI INR 86.21 Cr in dues, the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) has claimed that there was a ‘deliberate leak’ after the apex council meeting. At the same time, BYJU’S cofounder Divya Gokulnath penned a seething LinkedIn post, calling media reports hearsay.

“The bizarreness of the fake news story that we have not paid our dues to the BCCI was only matched by the urgency with which ‘media’ organizations ‘reported’ it,” Gokulnath’s post read.

“Even in this age of post-truth and verifying-after-reporting, we expect at least the real journalists to do some basic fact checks and not get swayed by hearsay and concocted stories by vested parties,” she added.

Someone with direct knowledge of the apex council meeting could have leaked the information, a ToI report citing BCCI sources said. However, the cricket board still did reject the information as wrong, stating that there is no contract in place between it and BYJU’S.

BCCI also did not allude to knowing who could have leaked the information or if it intends to investigate the matter. “At a time when the BCCI wants the Supreme Court to look at it as a body that functions as per the constitution and is clear of any wrongdoing, such news reports don’t help,” BCCI sources told ToI.

According to the report, BYJU’S does owe BCCI some money, but it is from the matches that happened after the previous deal had run its course. The two parties are in talks to sign an extension of their jersey sponsorship deal worth $55 Mn (INR 439 Cr).

Further, BCCI sources noted that while BYJU’S has cleared all of its previous payments, the cricket board still holds a bank guarantee that is worth significantly more than what the pending amount was quoted in the media yesterday.

A BYJU’S spokesperson told Inc42 that there are no outstanding payments from the edtech giant’s end. Further, the spokesperson added the incident will not hamper the deal the edtech major is in talks with BCCI and that it will extend its deal.

“We are extremely proud to be the principal sponsor of the Indian cricket team. No outstanding payment is due. We are extending the contract, the payment terms for which will be in compliance with the new contract,” the spokesperson said.

Again, there are conflicting accounts. Even though BCCI said that BYJU’S owes some money but can’t pay it in the absence of a contract, BYJU’S has insisted that nothing is pending.

The only logical explanation is that the two parties are confident that they will close the multi-million-dollar deal and therefore, are acting in good faith. That is why, even though BCCI allegedly holds a bank guarantee (BG) far more than the INR 86.21 Cr BYJU’S allegedly owes it, the cricket board has not gone ahead and liquidated the BG.

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