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Ask employers why I was thus ousted: Sharma

Although the Bangalore CEO can hardly be blamed for the losses the team, a scapegoat was needed and Sharma was sacrificed.

cricket Updated: May 08, 2008 01:45 IST
G Krishnan
G Krishnan
Hindustan Times
Charu Sharma

For decades there has been little correlation between the success of a team and the tenure of officials in Indian cricket. Now, with the arrival of the IPL, and corporates in a hands-on capacity, professionalism recently took its first victim. Although Charu Sharma, CEO of the Bangalore team, can hardly be blamed for the losses the team, a scapegoat was needed and Sharma was sacrificed.

After being silent for a day after he was axed, Sharma sent out an official statement on Wednesday, “Ask the company representatives for the details of why I was dismissed," he told HT on the phone from Bangalore.

The Bangalore team owner, Vijay Mallya is not accessible despite repeated efforts. , Mallya, unlike the other team owners, has been elusive to the media. HT sent a questionnaire asking for his reactions to the team’s failure through his corporate communicaton department. But no reply has come in a week. “You must appreciate that he is busy and we will try our best to get his replies,” is the corporate communications' response.

“Through this strange and difficult period, all I wish to do is maintain a dignified silence. However, I do feel the need to offer the following clarification," Sharma said in his release. “Being a national level sportsman (diving) and being deeply involved with sports over decades, the last thought on my mind would have been to part ways with the team.”

“I am not a quitter. Despite the sudden demise of my father at the start of the IPL, I chose to give all my time and attention to the welfare of the team, returning home for his last rites for only the briefest period.

“My role, as I saw it, was to constantly motivate, encourage, facilitate and respect the efforts of the professionals in the team. And that’s what I tried to do, sincerely, in the true spirit of sportsmanship.

“I wish to thank United Spirits Limited for giving me an opportunity to be an integral part of the making and running of an IPL team. I can understand their disappointment at the team not being the fastest off the block. But, as I kept reiterating, there are many matches and many seasons to go — to get it right.

“The Company has every right to hire and fire personnel. For details of why I was summarily dismissed from my duties, three hours before I was to board a flight to Kolkata for the next match, please contact representatives of the Company.

“I want to thank my friends and well wishers, especially my fellow media professionals, who have flooded me with their support. I wish the team and the company the best of luck.”