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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

‘BCCI junkets for staff’ raises disquiet in board corridors

BCCI CFO Santosh Rangnekar is set to travel to Australia to reconcile accounts between the Indian board and Cricket Australia.

cricket Updated: Feb 07, 2019 15:51 IST
Baidurjo Bhose
Baidurjo Bhose
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A view of logo of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
A view of logo of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.(Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Close on the heels of National Cricket Academy COO Tufaan Ghosh’s visit to Australia, it has now come to the fore that even CFO Santosh Rangnekar has asked for permission to travel to Australia to reconcile the accounts between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia. Sources in the know of developments have told Hindustan Times that the CFO had the opportunity of sorting any issue during the recent meeting of the CFOs organized by the ICC in Dubai, but Rangnekar decided to keep it for later.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a senior BCCI official questioned the sudden splurge by the board to send executives on junkets. The official further pointed at the need to travel all the way to Australia when high-level meetings are also now done mostly over conference calls or Skype.

“In this day and age, it is laughable to hear that for reconciliation he needs to travel all the way to Australia. I wonder if he has heard of things like e-mail, Skype, Facetime, Zoom etc. or is it just a ploy to travel the globe. The supporting documents can be scanned and their PDF files can be accessed from anywhere on the globe. He has only recently travelled to Dubai for an ICC conference of CFOs and if there was any requirement for an in-person discussion, he should have planned around the conference accordingly,” the official said.

Another official echoed the sentiments and said: “We keep hearing about leaks of expenses incurred by the office bearers but it would be interesting to know how much expenses are being incurred for the benefit of the CEO (Rahul Johri) and the CFO. It seems that the CFO’s job may even be more cushy than the CEO’s job. He had reportedly also visited the Caribbean islands in the past for a similar purpose.”

Another board functionary said that it was clearly a case of pleasing certain people by handing them junkets. “Junkets for BCCI staff continues unabashed. We may be the first international board that is sending its CFO to make payments to its vendors rather than the vendors coming here to sort their payments if any. It is like the BCCI’s money is being spent solely for the purpose of one or two individuals exalting themselves in the eyes of the other boards,” he smiled.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Rangnekar said that it was important to travel to Australia as the accounts over the last 8 to 9 years need to be reconciled. “Any accounting reconciliation has a lot of accounting entry and each entry has a lot of back-ups in the paper and those papers are at the respective locations. These reconciliations are for a period of 8 to 9 years and every year the reconciliation has accumulated. So, somewhere someone has to break the ice and do the job.

“Accounts or finance issues cannot be solved in one go. The matter was discussed in Dubai, but it was only briefly touched upon as there were so many other countries whose reconciliation was there,” he explained.

Interestingly, Tufan Ghosh’s trip to Australia for a presentation that never happened didn’t go down well with board officials and acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary even questioned Johri behind the purpose of the whole trip.

First Published: Feb 07, 2019 13:45 IST