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BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary takes on administrators in new drama

BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary has questioned unilateral appointment of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) GM (Marketing) by the Supreme Court-mandated CoA while making counter arguments on why the cricket body should be hosting its first day/night Test after criticism of such plans

cricket Updated: Mar 06, 2018 23:46 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Amitabh Choudhary,Vinod Rai,BCCI
BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary has written a strongly-worded letter criticising VInod-Rai headed panel.(HT Photo)

The combustible situation in Board of Control for Cricket in India’s power struggle worsened further on Tuesday with acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary taking on Committee of Administrators chief Vinod Rai in a two-page, strongly-worded letter.

The BCCI secretary has questioned the unilateral appointment of the BCCI GM (Marketing) by the Supreme Court-mandated CoA while making counter arguments on why BCCI should be hosting its first day/night Test after criticism of such plans.

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CoA’s working relationship with BCCI office-bearers of late has deteriorated to such an extent there is no trust between the two parties. The letter, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, further highlights the breakdown in relations.

“Initially, I had considered but desisted from responding to your comments on the day-night Test match issue respecting your position. However, the instant matter where an appointment contract is sent for my authentication even though I have once again not been any part of the decision-making process on the appointment and the same having been done without even the concurrence of the office-bearers if not the general body, surprises me, more so when the said appointment is proposed on a post which was not only hitherto non-existent but is also not one of the positions recommended by the Justice Lodha Committee.

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GENERAL BODY NOD

“Like all appointments, this too places a financial liability on the BCCI. Moreover, the person who has been selected by only two people, neither of whom represents the 37 member units of the BCCI, did not even figure in the initial list of candidates,” Choudhary stated in his letter to the CoA chief.

“In view of facts as they stand, I would humbly submit that the only proper way forward on the issue of appointment of GM, Marketing would be to allow the General Body to consider it before the final decision taken by you is implemented.”

Choudhary has pointed out how Vinod Rai had put a premium on the views of office-bearers on the day/night Test match, while in the very next frame an appointment contract is sought to be authenticated for a post which has no sanction either the office-bearers or the General Body.

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NAMING NCA CHIEF

He also criticised the appointment of the National Cricket Academy head. “I had raised my objection saying none of the shortlisted candidates had any background of cricket to which no response was made. I let it pass in deference to the decision of the CoA, and as NCA after having acquired a new 40-acre campus needed urgent attention.”

Going back to the issue of day-night Test, the secretary said: “It would be useful to know that all other Test playing nations have already started playing day/night Test matches except India and Bangladesh.”

The fallout between Rai and Choudhary is critical because the latter was seen as CoA’s man in the BCCI, helping them in the implementation of the Lodha reforms.

However, the CoA’s decision to look beyond the three principal office-bearers and Rai’s scathing letter against the decision to go ahead with the Day/Night Test seems to have led to Choudhary’s strong response.

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BACKED BY NUMBERS

Among the points raised by Rai against the Day/Night Test was the issue of the body clock of the players being addressed. Choudhary has retorted by producing the number of Day/Night matches played by the top Indian players.

“With the cumulative ODI/T20I/IPL figures of only five top players such as MS Dhoni -- 566 (318/89/159), Virat Kohli – 414 (208/57/149), Rohit Sharma – 413 (180/74/159), Shikhar Dhawan – 260 (102/31/127) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar -- 202 (86/26/90) mounting to a mammoth 1855 matches, an overwhelming majority of which were night matches, the issue of body clocks of players is adequately addressed,” Choudhary said.

According to well-placed sources, in its status report to the Supreme Court, the CoA has recommended the removal of the three top office-bearers – Choudhary, acting president CK Khanna and acting treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary – as all of them have cumulatively completed three years in the post.

First Published: Mar 06, 2018 23:22 IST